1975 World Series – Reds 6, Red Sox 5 10 Innings (boxscore and play account)
-Like Game 2 this game is incomplete on the disk. With one out in the bottom of the 7th a screen comes up acknowledging that a portion of the game is missing from the archives. Now when the action returns I have no idea what part of the game until a couple minutes later when the announcers mention that it’s the top of the 9th. It would have been nice for them to add a graphic telling you what part of the game they had jumped to. Thankfully the Dwight Evans’ game tying homerun in the 9th isn’t missed.
-The video quality is the poorest so far of any of the games. Makes me wonder if they’ll be able to put together any pre-70’s World Series sets or not.
-Curt Gowdy wonders aloud if Pete Rose can get to 3000 hits or not. Considering he’d already cleared 2500 that year at age 34 I can’t imagine to many people thought there’d be much doubt about that.
-I’m amused again by the fact that Joe Morgan apparently didn’t like runners trying to steal when he was up. That’s not SMARTBALL~ Joe!
-Clay Carroll comes into pitch in the 7th with the Reds up 5-2 and Tom Brennaman (part of the rotating announce crew that I mentioned in the Game 1 entry) calls it a “saving situation” which tells you how much the role of relievers has changed. Carroll wasn’t the Reds primary closer though as he only had 7 saves during the regular season.
-1975 technology gone mad: With Johnny Bench up in the 9th, NBS puts an image of Bench's wife over the upper righthand corner of the screen (see the screencap) and continue to shoot a side camera angle of Bench for the first three pitches with his wife looking on. I hope Fox producers have never seen this.
-Big controversy in the bottom of the 10th as with Cesar Geronimo on first and none out, Ed Armbrister comes up to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot specifically to bunt. He lays down a terrible bunt right in front of home plate. As Carlton Fisk tries to get to the ball Armbrister gets in his way. Fisk gets to the ball but uncorks a wild throw to second that gets by the bag and Geronimo advances to third while Armbrister ends up on second. Fisk is furious and rightfully so as it should have been interference. A couple of batters later Joe Morgan ends it with a base hit (sorry, "manufactured a run") and the Red Sox drop a second straight heartbreaker.
-During all of this the crowd was rather subdued for a World Series extra inning game.
1979 World Series – Orioles 8, Pirates 4 (boxscore and play account)
-Like Game 2 the network graphics are missing from the footage of this game. Hope it’s not this way the rest of the series.
-Al Michaels fills in for Keith Jackson as Jackson has to do a college football game the next day. It’s been too long since I heard Michaels call baseball.
-Both teams are wearing classic whites and greys for this game rather than the usual softball uniforms.
-Michaels calls Three Rivers a beautiful ball park. Well this was 1979 and it was very much the age of the giant, multi-purpose stadiums so maybe Three Rivers was considered nice for the time, what do I know?
-Unfortunately Cosell still hasn’t said anything particularly interesting in the entire series although he goes on a couple of mini-rants about the baseball writer’s blaming ABC for the bad weather or something, couldn’t quite figure out what he was talking about.
1986 World Series – Mets 7, Red Sox 1 (boxscore and play account)
-Vin Scully mentions that Oil Can Boyd has hepatitis. Well that’s good to know.
-Now in the ‘75 Series in Cincinnati when Carlton Fisk homered in the 2nd there seemed to be a decent number of Red Sox fans in the stands. Now for this series for the first two games in New York when the Red Sox would make a big play there was seemingly not a single Red Sox fan in the stands. This took me by surprise as today at every Red Sox road game there are thousands of bandwagon…uh I mean lifelong SAWX fans in the stands no matter where the game is played. Then what is interesting as the ’86 Series goes to Boston after Lenny Dykstra leads off the game with a homerun there is a noticeable number of Mets fans in the crowd and even a very light “Let’s Go Mets” chant starts.
-Oil Can Boydism: Quoted earlier in the year after a game that was fogged out in Cleveland as saying “What do you expect when you build a stadium near the ocean?”
-With the Mets up 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth the Red Sox fans start doing…the wave!? The wave in Fenway Park? Who knew?
-Scully makes a somewhat interesting parallel from the previous World Series where another high strung pitcher in Joaquin Andujar made the start in Game 3 and lost the game that let the Royals back in that series.
This is one that I’ve been putting off as it seemed too obvious for an entry. No one in there right mind thinks in 1991 that Terry Pendleton was a better player than Barry Bonds except apparently the 12 baseball writers who voted for Pendleton over Bonds. Now Pendleton winning wasn’t on the level of Andre Dawson winning in 1987 and actually after reviewing it there certainly have been several worse choices for MVP in the past.
There’s an easy answer as to why Pendleton won the MVP and that was because the Braves were the feel good story of 1991. The Braves had lost 89 games or more in six consecutive seasons and had lost 97 the year before. But that all changed in ’91 when they made a shocking run at the N.L. West title and Pendleton received a good portion of the credit for their run. After all he wasn’t with the Braves before ‘91 and when he joins the team they suddenly became good so it must have been because of him, or at least that was probably the logic of some writers. Now I don’t want to slam Pendleton, he had a great year and he was the MVP of the Braves that season as he had a career year offensively after appearing to be washed at age 29 just a year earlier with the Cardinals. What would hurt Bonds in the MVP voting was A) he won the MVP the year before and did not have as good a year to follow it up, B) the Pirates ran away with the East title while the Braves were in a dog fight into the final weekend with the Dodgers for the West title so in September all eyes were on Atlanta, and C) he was already the miserable prick we know today and thus not liked by the media. Pendleton and Bonds received 22 of the 24 first place votes with Bonds’ teammate Bobby Bonilla receiving one. Not sure why someone picked Bonilla over Bonds but it did not cost Bonds the award and Bonilla had a great year. The other first place vote though went to Brett Butler who I’m assuming received it from a Dodgers writer. Butler had a good year but far from deserving to win it and he only placed 7th in the overall voting.
Now what eventually convinced me to write an entry on this one had little to do with the winner of the award but one bizarre 10th place vote. Dave Martinez was with the Expos at the time and I don’t think MVP and Dave Martinez have ever been uttered before but yet he showed up one writer’s ballot that year. Martinez played in 124 games, received 427 plate appearances, with his Triple Crow stats at .295 avg, 7 hr, 42 rbi. It got me thinking as to how in the world did a writer justify giving Dave Martinez an MVP vote, even if only a 10th place? The Expos lost 90 games that year so it wasn’t like he had some relevant “clutch” hits down the stretch that would caused a writer to overrate him. The two best players on the Expos in 1991 were his outfield mates Ivan Calderon and Larry Walker so it’s hard to imagine his play was noticed more over those two. Then it donned on me…the writer meant to vote for his teammate Dennis Martinez. El Presidente won the N.L. ERA title and it’s completely conceivable for a writer to have given the league leader in ERA a 10th place vote. I can’t confirm this is what happened but there is no other logical explanation for it.
1) Terry Pendleton 2) Barry Bonds 3) Bobby Bonilla 4) Will Clark 5) Howard Johnson 6) Ron Gant 7) Brett Butler 8) Lee Smith 9) Fred McGriff 10) Darryl Strawberry 11) Tom Glavine 12t) Jay Bell 12t) David Justice 14t) Andre Dawson 14t) John Smiley 16) Tony Gwynn 17t) John Kruk 17t) Barry Larkin 17t) Ryne Sandberg 20t) Dave Martinez 20t) Chris Sabo 20t) Ozzie Smith
.294/.367/.483, 97 RC, 139 OPS+, .311 EQA, 43.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.259/.342/.535, 105 RC, 145 OPS+, .308 EQA, 47.2 VORP, 25 Win Shares
153 ERA+, 2.78 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 55.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares
.278/.396/.494, 104 RC, 147 OPS+, .322 EQA, 48.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.304/.377/.454, 88 RC, 143 OPS+, .315 EQA, 54.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.319/.363/.517, 111 RC, 139 OPS+, .308 EQA, 53.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.302/.391/.492, 112 RC, 150 OPS+, .323 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.291/.379/.485, 109 RC, 137 OPS+, .310 EQA, 52.5 VORP, 37 Win Shares
.301/.359/.536, 109 RC, 152 OPS+, .321 EQA, 53.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.292/.410/.514, 109 RC, 161 OPS+, .337 EQA, 61.6 VORP, 37 Win Shares
See...I put an asterisk. Cause he's a cheater. HAHAHAHA. People who use asterisks to mock Bonds are so clever.
Anyways you to have to admit that's one prophetic card.
This year in college football there will be something called the BCS Championship Game or as I like to think of it, Fiesta Bowl II. It will match up the #1 and #2 teams in the BCS rankings and it will take place in the new Arizona Cardinals stadium which will be the new site of the Fiesta Bowl. It’s not a bowl game but it’ll be played at a bowl site the week after a bowl game was just played in it. It was the NCAA’s lame compromise they came up with for those who want to keep the bowl tradition and those who want a tournament or “plus one” format without actually addressing any of the flaws with the current format. But after it was after the 1986 regular season in the Fiesta Bowl where arguably the first true National Championship game may have ever taken place.
The landscape of college football was very different 20 years ago as many big time programs besides Notre Dame were still independents. Florida State, Boston College, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, South Carolina, and others were all independents. Two other national powerhouse independents would emerge as the #1 and #2 teams in the country in Miami and Penn State. Since neither had a conference affiliation thus neither was required to go to a particular bowl game. This is where the Fiesta Bowl came in as unlike the other major bowls they were not aligned with any conference to take their champion thus there able to invite both of the nation’s only undefeated teams. Miami were huge favorites with Heisman trophy winner Vinny Testaverde at quarterback, the Hurricanes beat their opponents by an average score of 38-12 during the regular season. Miami was the cockiest team on the planet at the time and infamously showed up to Tempe like this:
At a dinner to honor both teams the week of the game, the Hurricanes walked out of it. Jerome Brown was quoted as “Did the Japanese sit down and eat with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?” You know equating yourself with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor has never been the smartest thing to say. But Penn State would upset Miami 14-10 to win an undisputed national championship, intercepting Testaverde five times in the game. Four years later Penn State would join the Big Ten and spark the move of several independents to join conferences.
One other thing 1986 was also the Year of the Boz, probably the greatest marketing ever of a college athlete ever. Oklahoma's All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth created a complete alter ego for himself known as The Boz and made himself the most recognizable player in college football. Oklahoma won the Big 8 title but Bosworth would be suspended from the Orange Bowl for testing positive for steroids.
Here are useless facts from 1986.
Preseason AP Top 20
6. Penn State
7. Texas A&M
9. Ohio State
11. Florida State
20. Michigan State
Top 20 Reguarl Season Match-ups
#1 Oklahoma 38, #4 UCLA 3
#3 Miami 23, #13 Florida 15
#5 Alabama 16, #9 Ohio State 10
#14 LSU 35, #7 Texas A&M 17
#17 Washington 40, #10 Ohio State 7
#4 Alabama 21, #13 Florida 7
#7 Washington 52, #11 BYU 21
#1 Miami 28, #2 Oklahoma 16
#5 Michigan 20, #20 Florida State 18
#12 USC 20, #6 Washington 10
#11 Iowa 24, #17 Michigan State 21
#16 Arizona State 16, #15 UCLA 9
#12 Washington 24, #18 Stanford 14
#4 Michigan 20, #8 Iowa 17
#10 Arizona State 29, #15 USC 20
#11 Texas A&M 31, #20 Baylor 30
#6 Penn State 23, #2 Alabama 3
#7 Auburn 35, #13 Mississippi State 6
#1 Miami 41, #20 Florida State 23
#7 Arizona State 34, #6 Washington 21
#8 Alabama 38, #19 Mississippi State 3
#17 Ohio State 31, #11 Iowa 10
#18 USC 20, #14 Arizona 13
#18 LSU 14, #6 Alabama 10
#17 Arkansas 14, #17 Texas A&M 10
#10 Washington 17, #19 UCLA 17 tie
#3 Oklahoma 20, #5 Nebraska 17
#14 Arizona 34, #4 Arizona State 17
#6 Michigan 26, #7 Ohio State 24
#18 UCLA 45, #10 USC 25
#14 Auburn 21, #7 Alabama 17
Bowl Games (MVP)
California: San Jose State 37, Miami of Ohio 7 (Mike Perez)
Independence: Mississippi 20, Texas Tech 17 (Mark Young)
Hall of Fame: Boston College 27, #17 Georgia 24 (James Jackson, Georgia)
Sun: #13 Alabama 28, #12 Washington 6 (Cornelius Bennett)
Aloha: #16 Arizona 30, North Carolina 21 (Alfred Jenkins)
Gator: Clemson 27, #20 Stanford 21 (Rodney Williams)
Liberty: Tennessee 21, Minnesota 14 (Jeff Francis)
Holiday: #19 Iowa 39, San Diego State 38 (Mark Vlasic)
Freedom: #15 UCLA 31, BYU 10 (Gaston Green)
Bluebonnet: #14 Baylor 21, Colorado 9 (Ray Berry)
All-American: Florida State 27, Indiana 13 (Sammie Smith)
Peach: Virginia Tech 25, #18 N.C. State 24 (Erik Kramer, N.C. State)
Rose: #7 Arizona State 22, #4 Michigan 15 (Jeff Van Raaphorst)
Citrus: #10 Auburn 16, USC 7 (Aundray Bruce)
Cotton: #11 Ohio State 28, #8 Texas A&M 12 (Chris Spielman)
Orange: #3 Oklahoma 42, #9 Arkansas 8 (Spencer Tillman)
Sugar: #6 Nebraska 30, #5 LSU 15 (Steve Taylor)
Fiesta: #2 Penn State 14, #1 Miami 10 (Shane Conlan)
Final AP Top 20
1. Penn State
4. Arizona State
7. Ohio State
13. Texas A&M
19. Boston College
20. Virginia Tech
Vinny Testaverde, Miami
Brent Fullwood, Auburn
Paul Palmer, Temple
Terrence Flagler, Clemson
Brad Muster, Stanford
Cris Carter, Ohio State
Wendall Davis, LSU
Tim Brown Notre Dame
Keith Jackson, Oklahoma
Jeff Bregel, USC
Randy Dixon, Pittsburgh
Danny Villa, Arizona State
John Clay, Missouri
Ben Tamburello, Auburn
Jeff Zimmerman, Florida
Chris Conlin, Penn State
Dave Croston, Iowa
Paul Kiser, Wake Forest
John Elliott, Michigan
Randal McDaniel, Arizona State
Mark Hutson, Oklahoma
Harris Barton, North Carolina
John Phillips, Clemson
Jerome Brown, Miami
Danny Noonan, Nebraska
Tony Woods, Pittsburgh
Jason Buck, BYU
Reggie Rogers, Washington
Tim Johnson, Penn State
Cornelius Bennett, Alabama
Shane Conlan, Penn State
Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma
Chris Spielman, Ohio State
Terry Maki, Air Force
Thomas Everett, Baylor
Tim McDonald, USC
Bennie Blades, Miami
Rod Woodson, Purdue
Garland Rivers, Michigan
John Little, Georgia
Gordon Lockbaum, Holy Cross
Mark Moore, Oklahoma State
Jeff Jaeger, Washington
Marty Zendejas, Nevada
Jeff Ward, Texas
Barry Helton, Colorado
Greg Horne, Arkansas
Bill Smith, Mississippi
Greg Montgomery, Michigan State
My 1987 A.L. MVP Redo helped me find my next “Where’d They Go?” subject as there was one team that year that had three players in my top 10, that being the Boston Red Sox. Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Dwight Evans all had great years and having three players of that caliber playing for the defending A.L. Champs you’d think that'd lead to a successful year. They finished 78-84. What happened?
Obviously three stars can not lead a team of 25 to a championship. After you got past those three and Mike Greenwell the ’87 Sox were a terrible team. They spent just one day over .500 (8-7 on April 22nd) the entire season. The major problem was pitching as they posted 4.77 team ERA, only Baltimore and Cleveland were worse. The bullpen was particularly awful with an ERA of 5.42 and only 16 saves. Maybe the most glaring problem for the Red Sox was they were seemingly a completely different team on the road. They were a very strong 50-30 at home. They were a miserable 28-54 on the road.
C: Marc Sullivan (.169/.198/.238, -14.7 VORP, 2 Win Shares) – 14 OPS+. 14! How is that even possible for a non-pitcher? Sullivan was part of a three headed non-hitting monster at catcher for the Sox along Rich Gedman and John Marzano. The previously reliable Gedman heldout the first month of the season and then had a thumb injury midseason. How in the world was Sullivan in the Majors you ask? His dad Haywood Sullivan was co-owner of the Red Sox at the time. Aww nepotism. This would be Sullivan’s last year in the bigs.
1B: Dwight Evans (.305/.417/.569, 57.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares) – Dewey was moved to first in July after they released Bill Buckner. Evans struggled badly at first and I’m not sure why they chose to move him to first instead of rookie Todd Benzinger who got the majority of time in right field the remainder of the year. I guess maybe the thinking was with Evans being 35 they wanted to attempt to extend his career by moving him to first. Stayed with the Red Sox thru 1990 and spent his final year in Baltimore. Deserved a lot more support for the Hall of Fame than he got, which was almost no support at all.
2B: Marty Barrett (.293/.351/.351, 18.1 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Barrett had a decent year after his career year of ’86. In 1989 a knee injury cut his year, and eventually career, short and rookie Jody Reed took his job from there. Left the Sox after 1990 and had a brief stint in 1991 with the Padres before being released.
3B: Wade Boggs (.363/.461/.588, 90.1 VORP, 32 Win Shares) – Boggs was well into his peek here with another MVP caliber season winning his third of four straight batting titles. This was the one year that Boggs showed serious power as he hit 24 homeruns in an assumed juiced ball year. His production dipped severely in 1992 and after that year he signed as a free agent with the Yankees where rebounded with a great year in 1994 and won his only World Series ring in 1996. Closed out his career with the Devil Rays, retiring after 1999. He actually gave his HOF cap rights to the D-Rays as part of his contract but thankfully the HOF changed it’s rules and players no longer are able choose the cap they wear on their plaque. Inducted with a Red Sox cap last year.
SS: Spike Owen (.259/.337/.343, 10.7 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Owen sure made a career out of being a weak hitter and unspectacular defensive shortstop. Traded after 1988 to the Expos where he’d spend four years. Traded again after 1993 to the Yankees. In 1994 with the Angels he put up a shocking .310/.418/.422 line in 82 games but he went back to his usual numbers in ’95 which was his final season.
LF: Jim Rice (.277/.357/.408, 9.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – This was the year where Rice seemed to age about five years as he was hobbled with knee problems. Moved to DH the following year but that failed to really extend his career and he retired after 1989. His HOF support is continuing to grow and though he’ll have no shot for 2007 with the Ripken/Gwynn ballot, I will not be surprised if he is elected on the 2008 ballot over the more deserving Tim Raines.
CF: Ellis Burks (.272/.324/.441, 17.4 VORP, 15 Win Shares) – Solid rookie year for Burks who was just 22 at the time. Had his first of many injuries in 1989 when he was limited to 97 games due to a shoulder injury. In his 18 year career he only played more than 140 games in a season four times but when he was in the line up he was usually great. Signed with the White Sox in 1993 for one season and then signed with the Rockies. Traded in a deadline deal to the Giants in 1998 and played there thru 2000. Spent the next three years in Cleveland and made a return to the Red Sox in 2004 but only played in 11 games.
OF: Mike Greenwell (.328/.386/.570, 41.9 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – This was Greenwell’s “rookie” year but he had played parts of the last two seasons and started 61 games in left, 28 games in right, and 15 games at DH. Really broke out the following year finishing in the Top 5 in the A.L. in average, OBP, SLG, hits, rbi, and a few other categories. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting but would never come close to match that year again. Would spend his entire MLB career in Boston, leaving after 1996 to play in Japan.
DH: Don Baylor (.239/.355/.404, 9.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – Boston stats only as Baylor would be traded with a month left in the season to the Twins. He was playing on borrowed time at this point although he would have a great World Series. Played his final year in 1988 with Oakland.
Roger Clemens (154 ERA+, 92.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – Who?
Bruce Hurst (103 ERA+, 40.2 VORP, 15 Win Shares) – Hurst was the only other competent pitcher on the Sox, starters or bullpen, although this wasn’t a particularly good year for him. Oddly enough made the All-Star team but Clemens didn’t. Signed as a free agent with the Padres in 1989 and had arguably his best year posting a 2.69 ERA. Had three good years in San Diego but a shoulder problem hampered him in 1992 and he found out after the season he had a torn rotator cuff. Only would pitch 51 innings after that, traded to the Rockies midseason in 1993 and then spent 1994 with the Rangers.
Al Nipper (84 ERA+, 4.5 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Nipper was a junkballer who fooled some hitters a few years earlier when he first came up to the Majors but by this time he was figured out. Sox traded him and Calvin Schiraldi to the Cubs in an absolute fleecing to get Lee Smith. Nipper actually did pitch fairly well splitting time between starter and reliever in ’88. Was released right before the 1989 season and did not pitch in the Majors that year. Not sure if he was injured or in the minors. Pitched 24 innings for the Indians in 1990, his final year.
Jeff Sellers (86 ERA+, 10.7 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Supposedly had great stuff but apparently never knew where it was going. Traded after 1988 to Cincinnati in the Nick Esasky deal and never pitched in the Majors again.
Bob Stanley (91 ERA+, 8.8 VORP, 5 Win Shares) – This was a forgettable return to starter for Stanley who’d only made two starts in the previous six years. The workhorse reliever was moved back to the bullpen the following season and had a good year but struggled in 1989, announcing his retirement at the end of the season.
Closer: Wes Gardner (84 ERA+, 7.0 VORP, 4 Win Shares) – Red Sox didn’t really have a closer for their awful bullpen but Gardner picked up 10 of the 16 saves. Spent the following year as a long reliever/fifth starter and had his only productive year in the Majors. Traded to the Padres after 1990, splitting his final year with them and the Royals.
I've been trying for a while to figure out some sort reoccurring entry for what's become my favorite sport to watch on television in the last several years and that's college football. But I haven't been able to come up with anything to this point so I figured I'd post some memories and some useless facts which is what this blog was created for.
As I've said before my "sports life" began in 1986 but it wasn't until 1991 that I took a true interest in college football. Really two things stuck out and that was Desmond Howard and that Stanford had a good team for the first time in a while. Howard was the hyped player that seemed to deliver every week. I will never forget watching that Michigan/Ohio State game when he struck the Heisman pose after a punt return for a touchdown. There was this sense from the announcers and the crowd that right before the punt that he was going to do something big. Him striking that pose in perfect unison with Keith Jackson's "Hello Heisman" call is I think one of the truly cool moments sports history.
Now since I had started following sports with a rabid interest Stanford had been lackluster in football, except in 1986 when they played in the Gator Bowl but again I wasn't into college football at the time. The year before they had pulled off a shocking upset of then #1 Notre Dame in South Bend but need nothing of note after that. In '91 they had an early season upset of Colorado but were only 2-3 after five games. Starting quarterback Jason Polumbus was knocked with a shoulder injury and back up Steve Stenstrom took over, leading the Cardinal to six straight victories and just their second bowl bid in 13 years. I still have on tape and watch at least once a year their 38-21 ass kicking of then #6 Cal in the Big Game that year with "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell scoring three td's.
Now on to the useless facts. 1991 may have been as reponsible as any year for the creation of the BCS because it ended with a split national champ between two undefeated schools who could not play each other in the bowls, Miami and Washington. Miami was ranked higher in the preseason poll so they ended up higher than Washington at the end of the season although it was near upset against a weak Boston College team (week after Wide Right I) that cost Miami the top spot in the Coaches' Poll.
Preseason AP Top 25
1. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
7. Penn State
8. Georgia Tech
20. Michigan State
21. Texas A&M
23. Ohio State
Top 25 Regular Season Match-ups
#7 Penn State 34, #8 Georgia Tech 22
#1 Florida State 44, #19 BYU 28
#23 UCLA 27, #25 BYU 23
#2 Miami 40, #10 Houston 10
#3 Michigan 24, #7 Notre Dame 14
#6 Florida 35, #16 Alabama 0
#11 Tennessee 30, #21 UCLA 16
#23 Baylor 16, #12 Colorado 14
#4 Washington 36, #9 Nebraska 21
#18 Syracuse 38, #5 Florida 21
#6 Tennessee 26, #23 Mississippi State 24
#1 Florida State 51, #3 Michigan 31
#5 Tennessee 30, #13 Auburn 21
#7 Clemson 9, #19 Georgia Tech 7
#14 Florida 29, #21 Mississippi State 7
#16 Nebraska 18, #24 Arizona State 9
#1 Florida State 46, #10 Syracuse 14
#7 Michigan 43, #9 Iowa 24
#18 California 27, #24 UCLA 24
#19 N.C. State 28, #21 Georgia Tech 21
#2 Miami 26, #9 Penn State 20
#10 Florida 35, #4 Tennessee 18
#7 Notre Dame 42, #12 Pittsburgh 7
#20 Illinois 10, #11 Ohio State 7
#22 Georgia 37, #23 Mississippi State 17
#3 Washington 24, #7 California 17
#14 Alabama 24, #8 Tennessee 19
#22 Colorado 34, #12 Oklahoma 17
#15 Iowa 24, #13 Illinois 21
#19 Texas A&M 34, #16 Baylor 12
#24 Syracuse 31, #20 Pittsburgh 27
#19 Clemson 29, #12 N.C. State 19
#20 East Carolina 24, #23 Pittsburgh 23
#9 Nebraska 19, #15 Colorado 19 tie
#11 Iowa 16, #13 Ohio State 9
#21 Baylor 9, #24 Arkansas 5
#13 Tennessee 35, #5 Notre Dame 34
#6 Florida 45, #23 Georgia 13
#10 Iowa 38, #25 Indiana 21
#24 Virginia 42, #18 N.C. State 10
#2 Miami 17, #1 Florida State 16
#4 Michigan 20, #25 Illinois 0
#8 Penn State 35, #12 Notre Dame 13
#4 Michigan 31, #18 Ohio State 3
#21 Stanford 38, #6 California 21
#5 Florida 14, #3 Florida State 9
#11 Nebraska 19, #19 Oklahoma 14
California: Bowling Green 28, Fresno State 21 (MVP, Mark Szlachcic)
Aloha: Georgia Tech 18, #17 Stanford 17 (MVP, Shawn Jones)
Blockbuster: #8 Alabama 30, #15 Colorado 25 (MVP, David Palmer)
Liberty: Air Force 38, Mississippi State 15 (MVP, Rob Perez)
Independence: #24 Georgia 24, Arkansas 15 (MVP, Andre Hastings)
Gator: #20 Oklahoma 48, Virginia 14 (MVP, Cale Gundy)
Holiday: BYU 13, #7 Iowa 13 tie (MVP, Ty Detmer)
Freedom: #23 Tulsa 28, San Diego Sate 17 (MVP, Ron Jackson)
Copper: Indiana 24, Baylor 0 (MVP, Vaughn Dunbar)
Sun: #22 UCLA 6, Illinois 3 (MVP, Arnold Ale)
Citrus: #14 California 37, #13 Clemson 13 (MVP, Mike Pawlawski)
Peach: #12 East Carolina 37, #21 N.C. State 34 (MVP, Jeff Blake)
Cotton: #5 Florida State 10, #9 Texas A&M 2 (MVP, Sean Jackson)
Orange: #1 Miami 22, #11 Nebraska 0 (MVP, Larry Jones)
Fiesta: #6 Penn State 42, #10 Tennessee 17 (MVP, O.J. McDuffie)
Hall of Fame: #16 Syracuse 24, #25 Ohio State 17 (MVP, Marvin Graves)
Rose: #2 Washington 34, #4 Michigan 14 (MVP, Steve Emtman)
Sugar: #18 Notre Dame 39, #3 Florida 28 (MVP, Jerome Bettis)
Final AP Top 25
3. Penn State
4. Florida State
9. East Carolina
12. Texas A&M
13. Notre Dame
24. N.C. State
25. Air Force
Ty Detmer, BYU
Casey Weldon, Florida State
Vaughn Dunbar, Indiana
Trevor Cobb, Rice
Russell White, California
Amp Lee, Florida State
Marshall Faulk, San Diego State
Desmond Howard, Michigan
Mario Bailey, Washington
Carl Pickens, Tennessee
Kelly Blackwell, TCU
Derek Brown, Notre Dame
Mark Chmura, Boston College
Greg Skrepenak, Michigan
Bob Whitfield, Stanford
Jeb Flesch, Clemson
Jerry Ostroski, Tulsa
Mirko Jurkovic, Notre Dame
Jay Leeuwenburg, Colorado
Eugene Chung, Virginia Tech
Leon Searcy, Miami
Troy Auzenne, California
Ray Roberts, Virginia
Tim Simpson, Illinois
Steve Emtman, Washington
Santana Dotson, Baylor
Brad Culpepper, Florida
Leroy Smith, Iowa
Joel Steed, Colorado
Shane Dronett, Texas
Rob Bodine, Clemson
Robert Stewart, Alabama
Robert Jones, East Carolina
Marvin Jones, Florida State
Levon Kirkland, Colorado
Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech
David Hoffman, Washington
Steve Tovar, Ohio State
Joe Bowden, Oklahoma
Darrin Smith, Miami
Erick Anderson, Michigan
Terrell Buckely, Florida State
Dale Carter, Tennessee
Kevin Smith, Texas A&M
Darryl Williams, Miami
Darren Perry, Penn State
Troy Vincent, Wisconsin
Carlos Huerta, Miami
Jason Hanson, Washington State
Mark Bounds, Texas Tech
Qadry Ismail, Syrcause
Kevin Williams, Miami
Okay I've redone all the 80's MVPs but this was one that I kind of have been wanting to do an entry for. The main reason is because 1987 was the year that my favorite player of all-time Mark McGwire burst on to the scene by completely obliterating the rookie homerun record with 49 homeruns. It's really one of those records that it's hard to imagine it ever being broken as Mike Piazza's 35 in 1993 is the most by a rookie since. In the Summer of '87 everyone was going out of their way to buy up as many of McGwire's Olympic card from the 1985 Topps set as they could. Now I know McGwire wasn't the MVP but I had always had it my head that he had a better year than the winner of the MVP that year.
The writer's pick for A.L. MVP was George Bell as he won it in a tight race over Alan Trammell, receiving 16 first place votes to Trammell's 12. Now when it comes to awards voting most writers submit their ballots before the season ends and that could have made a difference here. After dropping three out of four in Toronto on the next to last weekend of the season the Tigers sat two and a half games out of first place behind the Blue Jays. It's quite possible that series won the MVP for Bell over Trammell as Bell played a big role in the series win going 8 for 18. But the in the final weekend of the season the Tigers would sweep the Jays in Detroit to take the A.L. East title. Who knows how many writer's submitted their ballots right after the series in Toronto? Also if Trammell had won the MVP in '87 maybe he'd get a little more support in the Hall of Fame voting. I've always had the Shiny Object Theory when it comes to HOF voting where writer's will almost always give more support to a player who won a major award in their career than someone who didn't. Just look at Bruce Sutter (Cy Young in 1979) being elected to the HOF this year instead of Goose Gossage (never won a Cy Young).
1) George Bell 2) Alan Trammell 3) Kirby Puckett 4) Dwight Evans 5) Paul Molitor 6) Mark McGwire 7) Don Mattingly 8) Tony Fernandez 9) Wade Boggs 10) Gary Gaetti 11) Jeff Reardon 12) Darrell Evans 13t) Doyle Alexander 13t) Tom Henke 13t) Wally Joyner 16) Kent Hrbek 17) Danny Tartabull 18) Robin Yount 19) Roger Clemens 20t) Jack Morris 20t) Kevin Seitzer 20t) Ruben Sierra 23) Jose Canseco 24) Matt Nokes
.309/.390/.541, 123 RC, 142 OPS+, .318 EQA, 54.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares
.305/.417/.569, 129 RC, 156 OPS+, .332 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.327/.378/.559, 122 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 50.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.332/.367/.534, 121 RC, 132 OPS+, .304 EQA, 55.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.308/.352/.605, 129 RC, 146 OPS+, .318 EQA, 60.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares
154 ERA+, 3.09 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 92.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.289/.370/.618, 127 RC, 164 OPS+, .335 EQA, 60.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.353/.438/.566, 115 RC, 161 OPS+, .344 EQA, 74.8 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.363/.461/.588, 151 RC, 173 OPS+, .358 EQA, 90.1 VORP, 32 Win Shares
.343/.402/.551, 133 RC, 155 OPS+, .334 EQA, 96.6 VORP, 35 Win Shares
So Bell wasn't a terrible choice but not a particularly good one either. Boggs plays bride's maid again in my redos just like he did with the 1986 one. What happened with the Red Sox in '87? Defending A.L. Champs and three of the Top 10 players in the league on their team yet they finish six games under .500. Sounds like a "Where'd They Go?" team.
Quickie this time around.
10. Jose Reyes, Mets
9. Bobby Abreu, Phillies
8. Nick Johnson, Nationals
7. Bronson Arroyo, Reds
6. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
5. Lance Berkman, Astros
4. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
3. Carlos Beltran, Mets
2. David Wright, Mets
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
10. Derek Jeter, Yankees
9. Paul Konerko, White Sox
8. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
7. Jason Giambi, Yankees
6. Joe Mauer, Twins
5. Johan Santana, Twins
4. Curtis Granderson, Tigers
3. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
2. Jim Thome, White Sox
1. Travis Hafner, Indians
For the next Where’d They Go? I had already decided on doing a Mets team and ironically enough I received a request from TSM Mets’ fan strummer to do one for the 1997 Mets. The one I had chosen was the overpaid, sexual assaulting, firecracker throwing 1992 Mets. But I’m a giver so instead I will be doing the 1997 Mets.
The Mets had gone through six years of losing featuring many bad contracts, bad trades, and bad management. Basically the Mets the from 1991 to 1996 were the New York Knicks of today. Finally in ’97 things started to come together for the franchise under manager Bobby Valentine who had taken over as manager during the previous season for the young pitcher arm shredding Dallas Green. While the Mets never made a serious run for the N.L. East title they were in the thick of the Wild Card race for much of the summer but were never able to get closer than two games of the eventual World Champion Marlins. So let’s meet the 1997 New York Mets and see where they went.
C: Todd Hundley (.273/.394/.549, 45.2 VORP, 22 Win Shares) – This was during Hundley’s peak when he emerged as one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He would have elbow surgery following season which would effectively derail his career. He was terrible in his return the following season in an ill-conceived move to leftfield and likely should have sat out the entire year. The Mets had acquired Mike Piazza during 1998 and Hundley would be on his way out to the Dodgers following the season. He had one good year in 2000 with the Dodgers but that was only productive year left. Signed as a free agent with the Cubs following that season. Played there for two years and was traded back to Los Angles to play one final injury filled season.
1B: John Olerud (.294/.400/.489, 36.2 VORP, 27 Win Shares) – Olerud’s first year in New York many thought he was already on his way down as a player but put together three very productive years with the Mets. Signed as a free agent after 1999 with Seattle where he would play until mid-2004 when he appeared to be washed up. After being released he was picked up by the Yankees and was mildly productive. Went to Boston for 2005 as a part-time player and retired after the season.
2B: Carlos Baerga (.281/.311/.396, 6.9 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – The Mets had a good second baseman in Jeff Kent but traded him the year before to get…Baerga. Whoops. After an early peak Baerga already was past his prime in his late 20’s. He’d leave the Mets after 1998 and would bounce around from San Diego, back to Cleveland, Boston, Arizona (had a surprisingly good year in 2003 as a role player), and finally Washington last year. On no MLB roster this year so I assume he’s now retired.
3B: Edgargdo Alfonzo (.315/.391/.432, 36.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – This was Alfonzo’s breakout year at age 23. Had a disappointing 1998 but followed that up with two phenomenal years where he amassed 65 Win Shares. Seemed on his way to becoming a superstar but had a bad year in 2001 with several nagging injuries. Rebounded in 2002 and cashed in as a free agent by signing with the Giants. His days a productive player would be over when he reached San Francisco and played three mediocre years there. Traded after 2005 to the Angels who released him in May, then the Blue Jays gave him a shot but released him after only a month with the team. Appears his career maybe over at age 32.
SS: Rey Ordonez (.216/.255/.256, -18.1 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Everyone wanted to make Ordonez the next Ozzie Smith but it wasn’t going to happen and I don’t care how good defensively he may have been, those offensive numbers are of someone who should have been in Triple-A. Never lived up to the hype and was traded to Tampa Bay after to 2002. Played one year there and went to San Diego but never played a game with the big club. The Cubs of course couldn’t resist picking up a weak hitting middle infielder and picked him up but let him go after two months.
LF: Bernard Gilkey (.249/.338/.417, 9.0 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Hindsight being what it is the Mets probably could have suckered some team into trading a major prospect for Gilkey following his career year of ’96. This ended up being his last season as everyday player. Did end up being traded during 1998 to Arizona but for no one of note. Released by the D-Backs in 2000 and was picked up by the Red Sox. Finished his career with Atlanta in 2001.
CF: Carl Everett (.248/.308/.420, 2.8 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – Mets actually had three primary center fielders during the season. They traded Lance Johnson for Brian McRae in a six player waiver deal to the Cubs in August. Everett was a big time prospect who at age 26 at this point looked like he might not live up to the hype. Unfortunately for Mets’ fans GM Steve Phillips had a fetish for trading for middle relievers and he traded Everett after the season to the Astros for John Hudek. He’d have two very good years in Houston but they traded enigmatic outfielder to the Red Sox after 1999 for Adam Everett. He signed a big money contract extension with the Red Sox before the season started and had a great year but like everywhere else wore out his welcome. Traded three more times first to Texas after 2001, then to White Sox during 2003, signed as a free agent with Expos, and then traded back to the White Sox during 2004. Now currently with the Mariners.
RF: Butch Huskey (.287/.319/.503, 19.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares) – Alex Ochoa led the Mets in games played in right field but Huskey made the most starts. I can’t remember if Huskey was ever expected to end up being really good or not but he never did become all that good beyond a couple of decent years like this one. Mets traded him to Seattle after 1998, who traded him to Boston during the 1999. Split 2000 with the Twins and Rockies. Spent 2001 in the minors and that appears to be where his career ended.
Rick Reed (140 ERA+, 54.0 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – Reed was always that decent pitcher who you couldn’t see his real name in MLB video games because he was a “scab” player in 1995. I’m sure Brett Butler and Tom Glavine left him flaming bags of poo on his doorstep. This was arguably Reed’s best year and followed up with another good year in ’98. Merely an average pitcher through most of his career, he was traded in a deadline deal to the Twins in 2001 for Matt Lawton and pitched there thru 2003. He signed with the Pirates in 2004 but failed to make the Opening Day roster and decided to retire.
Dave Mlicki (101 ERA+, 31.9 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – Reading up on him apparently every Mets fan will always love him for his shutout of the Yankees in their first interleague mathc-up in ’97. Other than that, a very non-descript career who was traded several times. Mets traded during 1998 to the Dodgers in a deal for Hideo Nomo. Dodgers traded him last than a year later to Detroit, who would trade him two years later to Houston for Jose Lima.
Bobby Jones (111 ERA+, 32.2 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – Jones was a steady if unspectacular pitcher for the Mets for several years. A shoulder injury in 1999 would limit him to nine starts and he never had a season with ERA under 5 after that. Finished his career with two seasons with the Padres.
Mark Clark (95 ERA+, 12.9 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Mets stats only as Clark was in that Johnson/McRae deal to the Cubs in August but he was the only other Mets pitcher with more than 20 starts. Mediocre pitcher who often seemed to luck into winning seasons. Actually pitched great for the Cubs down the stretch to last place in ’97 but was terrible the following season. The always desperate for pitching Rangers signed him as a free agent where’d he had have two god awful years to finish his career.
Closer: John Franco (158 ERA+, 18.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares) – The longtime Mets’ closer was still effective at age 36. Being that he was left handed he was able hang around after he was no longer effective as he was with the Mets thru 2004. Astros picked him up for 2005 but released him midseason. Never officially announced his retirement but his career is most certainly over. Finished 3rd on the all-time saves list with 424.
I had almost forgotten that the NBA Draft was only a week away. I used look forward to the draft before ESPN took over coverage of it from TNT. Now in the early days of my blog (waaaaaaaaay back four and a half months ago) I did an entry on the 1989 NBA Draft, ranking the players drafted using the basketball version of win shares. I decided that would be a better way to do a Draftback entry for the NBA rather than the usual listing of the first round making stupid comments.
I picked the 1993 draft because it ended up leading to the downfall of the Golden State Warriors franchise, not that they didn’t have the right idea at the time. They of course struck a blockbuster draft day with the Orlando Magic to acquire the draft rights to Chris Webber in exchange for the draft rights for Anfernee Hardaway and three future first round picks. The Warriors would win 50 games in the ’93-’94 season while Webber went on to win the Rookie of the Year. But a feud with head coach Don Nelson would lead to a holdout and then an eventual trade of Webber to Washington that would set the course for 12 years (and going) of futility. So even in a year where the Warriors ended getting arguably the best player to come out of the draft it blew up in their face.
1993 Draft Rankings per Career Win Shares
1. Chris Webber, Orlando/Golden State – 241 Win Shares (1st Pick)
2. Sam Cassell, Houston – 233 (24th)
3. Anfernee Hardaway, Golden State/Orlando – 189 (3rd pick)
4. Nick Van Exel, L.A. Lakers – 169 (37th)
5. Allan Houston, Detroit – 162 (11th)
6. Bryon Russell, Utah – 141 (45th)
7. Vin Baker, Milwaukee – 137 (8th)
8. Shawn Bradley, Philadelphia – 132 (2nd)
9. Jamal Mashburn, Dallas – 127 (4th)
10. Rodney Rogers, Denver – 114 (9th)
11. Ervin Johnson, Seattle – 110 (23rd)
12. Lindsey Hunter, Detroit – 101 (10th)
13. George Lynch, L.A. Lakers – 100 (12th)
14. Chris Mills, Cleveland – 97 (22nd)
15. Lucious Harris, Dallas – 77 (28th)
16. Calbert Cheaney, Washington – 67 (6th)
17. Isaiah Rider, Minnesota – 62 (5th)
18. Chris Whitney, San Antonio – 57 (47th)
19. Corie Blount, Chicago – 56 (25th)
20. Gheorge Muresan, Washington - 50 (30th)
21. Scott Burrell, Charlotte – 45 (20th)
22. Terry Dehere, L.A. Clippers – 21 (13th)
23. James Robinson, Portland – 20 (21st)
24. Rex Walters, New Jersey – 16 (16th)
25. Eric Riley, Dallas – 8 (33rd)
26t. Greg Graham, Charlotte – 6 (17th)
26t. Acie Earl, Boston – 6 (19th)
28. Bobbie Hurley, Sacramento – 7 (7th)
29. Mike Peplowski, Sacramento – 3 (52nd)
30t. Doug Edwards, Atlanta – 2 (15th)
30t. Josh Grant, Denver – 2 (43rd)
32t. Scott Haskin, Indiana – 1 (14th)
32t. Darnell Mee, Golden State – 1 (34th)
32t. Richard Petruska, Houston – 1 (46th)
The Zero Club
Luther Wright, Utah (18th)
Geert Hammink, Orlando (26th)
Malcolm Mackey, Phoenix (27th)
Evers Burns, Sacramento (31st)
Alphonso Ford, Philadelphia (32nd)
Ed Stokes, Miami (35th)
Rich Manning, Atlanta (40th)
Adonis Jordan, Seattle (42nd)
Kevin Thompson, Portland (48th)
Never Played in the NBA
Sherron Mills, Minnesota (29th)
John Best, New Jersey (36th)
Conrad McRae, Washington (38th)
Thomas Hill, Indiana (39th)
Anthony Reed, Chicago (41st)
Alex Holcombe, Sacramento (44th)
Mark Buford, Phoenix (49th)
Marcelo Nicola, Houston (50th)
Spencer Dunkley, Indiana (51st)
Leonard White, L.A. Clippers (53rd)
Bryon Wilson, Phoenix (54th)
Most Win Shares with the Team they were Drafted by
Note: Even though Hardaway wasn’t technically drafted by Orlando since he was acquired in a draft day trade he might as well have been drafted by them.
1. Anfernee Hardaway, 143
2. Bryon Russell, 121
3. Nick Van Exel, 94
4. Lindsey Hunter, 81 (two different stints)
5t. Vin Baker, 68
5t. Chris Mills, 68
7. Gheorge Muresan, 49
8. Calbert Cheaney, 43
9. Sam Cassell, 33
10. Allan Houston, 31
As I've mentioned I have purchased the 1975, 1979, and 1986 World Series box sets released by MLB this year. I decided to start by watching the bonus disks on the 1986 set before viewing the World Series games. The DVD sleeves are very cool as they have little facts on the cover of them and then on the back they have the boxscore to the game on that disk, then on the inside they have a completely play-by-play account of the game. There's two bonus disks on the 1986 set, one featuring the classic Game 6 of the '86 NLCS that went 16 innings and the other featuring a few clips and interviews. Here are the complete list of features on that bonus disk:
1. Mets Clinch Division Title (final out of game against Cubs on 9/17)
2. NLCS Game 3: Lenny Dykstra's Walkoff HR
3. NLCS Game 5: Gary Carter's Walkoff Single
4. Lenny Dysktra: Red Sox Premature Celebration
5. Keith Hernandez: Perspective On Game 6 Rally
6. Keith Hernandez: Nerve-Wracking Game 6
7. Kevin Mitchell: Coach's Tip Before Scoring in Game 6
8. Mookie Wilson: Mindset Of His Historic At Bat
9. Mookie Wilson: Unfair To Blame Buckner
10. Bill Buckner: Mookie Wilson's Gronder And The Error
11. Bill Robinson: Perspective On Buckner's Error
12. Ray Knight: Game 6 Memories
13. Lenny Dykstra: Full Team Effort
14. Mike Piazza And Mookie Wilson Discuss Game 6
15. Inside The Moments Of Game 6 (has a clip of Dave Henderson's Game 5 ALCS homerun)
16. Ray Knight: Confidence Entering Game 7
17. Keith Hernandez: Mound Conversation With Jesse Orosco
18. Gary Carter: Catching The Last Out
19. World Series Last Out, Clubhouse Euphoria
20. Trophy Presentation
21. Championship Clubshouse Interviews
22. 1987 Opening Day Ring Ceremony
The N.L. East clinching out was interesting because it gives a you a glipse of what no longer is allowed, fans storming the field like it was a college football game. Probably for the best as it looked like a riot was ready to breakout before the clip ends.
Of course the real treat is that other bonus disk with the complete Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. The game itself clocked in at 4 hours and 42 minutes but with the commercials cut out the game and the postgame coverage clocks in at just about 4 hours on the disk. The game went so long that ABC's postgame coverage is short as they had to switch coverage to Game 7 of the ALCS that night.
I took down some notes as I was watching the game (no I didn't watch it all in one sitting). Keith Jackson and Tim McCarver were the announcers and McCarver was not nearly as annoying back then as he is now. I'm not going to go over every moment of the game of course so here's the boxscore and play account from retrosheet.org
-Bob Knepper started for the Astros on three days rest. They threw out a stat at the beginning of the telecast that Knepper was 14-5 with a 2.17 ERA on three days rest over the last three years.
-There were several empty seats in the upper deck when the game started. They did fill up a few innings but don't think it was a sellout.
-A sign in the crowd "Knepper + Scuffy = World Series". Scuffy was Astros ace Mike Scott and was known for allegedly scuffing the baseball by using sandpaper. It's very interesting during the game Jackson and McCarver often joke about Scott's possible cheating ways. Of course 20 years later there is all this phony moral outrage over cheating baseball players.
-Knepper was a being bitch on the mound the whole game. Almost every close pitch that was called a ball he'd slump his shoulders down and look straight at the umpire. In a regular season game he probably would have been ejected at some point. Until the 8th inning I thought Jackson and McCarver were calling the umpire "Brock Landers" but they they finally said his full name which was actually Fred Brocklander.
-That being said Knepper was throwing an absolute gem the first eight innings. Mets only had three baserunners with two singles and literally were hitting nothing hard.
-Jackson and McCarver mention the Mets set the record for most strikeouts by a team in an LCS and think it will last for a while. They casually mention that the record was held by the Royals just set the previous year and don't bother to bring up that it was the first year that LCS series were best out of 7 so of course strike out records were being broken with more games being played. I wasn't Bored enough to look up who holds the record now.
-I had forgotten that the Mets were down 3-0 going into the 9th of this game (I didn't look at the boxscore before viewing so I'd be mildly unaware of the events of the game). Dykstra hit a pinch hit triple to start the rally and it was first hard hit ball all day by the Mets.
-Astros closer Dave Smith was the goat of the series as he had given up the Dykstra homerun in Game 3 in his only apperance and came in here with it 3-2 with a runner on 2nd and one out. Tough situation but he proceeded to walk Carter (who the flash a graphic that he was 0 for his last 12 against Smith) and Strawberry before Ray Knight hits a sac flay to tie it. McCarver says it's unusual that Smith was having problems as he has "excellent command." On the year Smith's BB/9 ratio was 3.54. Not terrible but certainly not excellent.
-There was a wild moment in the Knight at bat with the bases loaded. The first pitch on the outside corner was called a strike, and it looked pretty good to me, but Knight being the dick he always was complained about it. Then on a 1-2 pitch a pitch clearly outside is called a ball but then the fun starts. Astros catcher Alan Ashby slams his fist and then Dickhead Knight complains about the call too claiming it was the same spot as the first pitch. Astros manager Hal Lanier runs out to the mind to talk to Smith all the while yelling at the umpire. Shorstop Dickie Thon then runs to the mound yelling at the umpire and Lanier has to restrain him to keep him from getting ejected. Again if this was a regular season game plenty of people would have been ejected.
-The signature moment of the game was actually by the losing team when Billy Hatcher hit a homerun in the bottom of the 14th to tie the game up after the Mets took the lead It was a majestic shot off the left field foul pole with Hatcher having his own Carlton Fisk moment as he ran backwards down the line hoping the ball would stay fair. Hatcher though in the top of the 16th would help the Mets to a three run inning by misplaying a fly ball by Strawberry leading off the inning that he would then let bounce over his head and allow Strawberry to go to 2nd. It was lamely scored a double.
I think I'll do little notes on all the games on each set and group each Game 1 in a single entry and then Game 2, etc. I'm looking forward to watching the '79 series as I know very little about the series itself beyond the ugly (or great?) uniforms.
Woo hoo, my three World Series box sets showed up today. I’ll try to figure out some sort of entry to do on the sets beyond a simple review. Probably will start by watching the bonus disk on the 1986 set that has Game 6 of the NLCS.
Hey remember how overrated Carlos Beltran was and how he was overpaid? What happened to that talk? He’s arguably the best healthy player in baseball right now. To no surprise Pujols is still on top even on the DL but Beltran is making a serious push for the top spot. If the Mets do end up winning the East you could have an interesting teammate duel for the MVP with him and David Wright, depending on how much Pujols’ injury time affects his chances. Scott Rolen has stepped up in Pujols’ absence and makes his first appearance in the Top 10. After a huge jump into the Top 10, Alfonso Soriano goes cold and nearly tumbles out of it while his teammate Nick Johnson is red hot. The slumping Chase Utley drops out of the Top 10 for the first time this season.
#10 Alfonso Soriano, Nationals
.289/.350/.585, 57 RC, .299 EQA, 23.9 VORP, 13 Win Shares
#9 Bobby Abreu, Phillies
.292/.455/.500, 54 RC, .318 EQA, 23.9 VORP, 14 Win Shares
#8 Scott Rolen, Cardinals
.355/.430/.589, 42 RC, .323 EQA, 27.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#7 Nick Johnson, Nationals
.309/.436/.554, 55 RC, .328 EQA, 30.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares
#6 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.339/.435/.562, 54 RC, .330 EQA, 34.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares
#5 Lance Berkman, Astros
.308/.386/.602, 53 RC, .313 EQA, 24.2 VORP, 14 Win Shares
#4 David Wright, Mets
.335/.404/.587, 55 RC, .319 EQA, 33.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#3 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
226 ERA+, 5.69 K/BB, 1.07 WHIP, 41.6 VORP, 13 Win Shares
#2 Carlos Beltran, Mets
.300/.408/.643, 59 RC, .329 EQA, 34.3 VORP, 17 Win Shares
.308/.442/.751, 65 RC, .357 EQA, 38.1 VORP, 19 Win Shares
Finally we have a new #1 in the A.L. as Jim Thome is starting to cool off. He actually leads the league in Win Shares still but the new #1 topped him in every other category. Joe Mauer pulls off what Alfonso Soriano did last week and makes a huge jump into the Top 10. Vernon Wells also makes a big jump and might be emerging as a serious MVP candidate this year. I do have some sad news this week…Baseball Jesus has dropped out. Do not cry though, there will be a resurrection.
#10 Curtis Granderson, Tigers
.282/.379/.464, 49 RC, .290 EQA, 18.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares
#9 Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
.292/.353/.498, 50 RC, .291 EQA, 17.7 VORP, 13 Win Shares
#8 Miguel Tejada, Orioles
.333/.392/.556, 51 RC, .318 EQA, 37.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares
#7 Jermaine Dye, White Sox
.298/.393/.639, 47 RC, .325 EQA, 23.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#6 Alexis Rios, Blue Jays
.335/.386/.623, 51 RC, .320 EQA, 28.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#5 Jason Giambi, Yankees
.270/.443/.616, 54 RC, .341 EQA, 26.5 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#4 Joe Mauer, Twins
.378/.443/.523, 44 RC, .331 EQA, 33.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#3 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
.328/.384/.624, 53 RC, .320 EQA, 34.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares
#2 Jim Thome, White Sox
.281/.415/.615, 61 RC, .331 EQA, 29.8 VORP, 14 Win Shares
.303/.454/.620, 65 RC, .356 EQA, 37.7 VORP, 13 Win Shares
I think every sports fan has certain athletes they dislike or even on some level hate. Sometimes there are some justifiable reason to dislike the athlete and other times it is just irrational hate. For me that athlete is Roger Clemens. I can't stand the fat fuck. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense as Clemens has many memorable failures against my Oakland A's over the years. Clemens was 0-7 head-to-head vs. Dave Stewart when Stewart pitched for the A's. Hell you'd think I'd like the guy but I don't. I've grown tired of his several near retirements which started with his so called farewell season of 2003. That season he was forced on to the All-Star team by Bud Selig after not being selected to the team and was given a long standing ovation in his "final" start in the 2003 World Series even though at no point before or during the season did he ever say that it would be his final year. Now he's on his way back yet again and in honor of his return I will attempt to take something away from him: the 1986 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
1986 was the last time a starting pitcher won an MVP award as Clemens had arguably the best season of his career going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA while playing on the best team in the league. In the 1995 N.L. MVP redo I established that it is still possible for a starting pitcher to win an MVP award although it is very difficult. Certainly Clemens had the type of year a starting pitcher would need to warrant consideration for an MVP and he received 19 of the 28 possible first place votes. His main competition was the defending A.L. MVP Don Mattingly and he had an even better season than his MVP year but his RBI total was down from 145 to 113 so undoubtedly that hurt him in the view of the writers. Then other player to receive first place votes was Clemens' teammate and another former MVP in Jim Rice. Rice had a great year but the best position player on the Red Sox was clearly Wade Boggs who won the batting title with a .357 avg and also lead the league with a .453 obp. Boggs only finished 7th in the voting.
1) Roger Clemens 2) Don Mattingly 3) Jim Rice 4) George Bell 5) Jesse Barfield 6) Kirby Puckett 7) Wade Boggs 8) Wally Joyner 9) Joe Carter 10) Dave Righetti 11) Doug DeCinces 12) Mike Witt 13) Don Baylor 14) Tony Fernandez 15) Teddy Higuera 16) Gary Gaetti 17t) Marty Barrett 17t) Scott Fletcher 17t) Pete O'Brien 20) Jose Canseco 21) Jim Presley 22) Dick Schofield
.263/.358/.469, 102 RC, 125 OPS+, .307 EQA, 53.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares
156 ERA+, 2.80 K/BB, 1.21 WHIP, 75.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.302/.335/.514, 114 RC, 130 OPS+, .300 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.282/.355/.461, 102 RC, 122 OPS+, .296 EQA, 58.7 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.328/.366/.537, 131 RC, 140 OPS+, .307 EQA, 65.4 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.324/.384/.490, 117 RC, 137 OPS+, .310 EQA, 52.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.289/.368/.559, 120 RC, 147 OPS+, .315 EQA, 51.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares
169 ERA+, 3.55 K/BB, 0.97 WHIP, 84.6 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.357/.453/.486, 128 RC, 157 OPS+, .337 EQA, 73.2 VORP, 37 Win Shares
.352/.394/.573, 155 RC, 161 OPS+, .338 EQA, 85.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares
OH IN YO FACE CLEMENS, IN YO FACE!!!
See the fact fuck wasn't even the best player on his own team. That's it he shouldn't be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Pretty much a toss up between Mattingly and Boggs, I wouldn't argue with anyone who feels Boggs should have won it. RICKEY~ didn't receive any votes and neither did Ripken who also didn't receive any votes in the 1984 A.L. MVP redo when I chose him as the winner.
In the near future I'll be posting an 80's round up of MVP redos for the years haven't done yet but aren't interesting enough for their own entry...and I'm not even sure if this one was either.
In recent years the WWE has made a killing on wrestler themed DVD's that feature several full length versions of classic matches. Now not necessarily influenced by the WWE but Major League Baseball has now started releasing DVD box sets of classic World Series featuring full length games from the entire series. This year they've released 1975, 1979, and 1986 World Series on DVD and I'd imagine there will be more of this in the future. Even though I'm not a fan of the Reds, Pirates, or Mets I do plan on buying these sets once the price goes down. Now a couple of years ago the NFL started releasing box sets called the "NFL Super Bowl Collections." This confused some people as they wondered if these were original broadcasts of the NFL games or not. Of course they weren't as they were just the classic half-hour highlight films of the games done by NFL Films that anyone can see on ESPN every January.
Now before they changed their programming a little over a year ago ESPN Classic was paradise for a diehard sports fan who loved watching classic sporting events. You could find original broadcasts of classic MLB, NBA, NHL, college football, college basketball, boxing, and racing on a regular basis. There was one thing always missing though and that was original broadcasts of classic NFL games. This always had struck me as unusual. Given that ESPN has been televising NFL games since 1987 and with their deal with ABC you'd figure at the very least they'd be able to show classic Sunday & Monday Night Football games but no such luck.
I've searched as much as I can but I've never been able to find out why the NFL refuses to allow any broadcast of this archived footage. When the NFL Network started up a few years back I always assumed that they would air classic games on the channel. With 24 hours to fill on a channel that would only interest serious NFL fans you would think they would fill some of that time but showing classic games but they do not. My only theory has been that given the deal with NFL Films it seems that the NFL only wants them to be the sole history teller of their sport. Back in the late 90's they started putting together NFL Films versions of full length historical games such as Super Bowl III and the 1982 NFC Championship game. These were kind of cool when they first aired but they've only done a handful of games and they still don't have the feel of watching an original broadcast game.
I will continue to not understand why the NFL sits on a goldmine they have. These classic games are just sitting there with no one to see them. With MLB now jumping on the DVD bandwagon of selling classic footage you'd hope the NFL will do the same in the future. The sales just for boxed sets of full length Super Bowls would be through the roof especially if they packaged them for particular teams like the 49ers, Cowboys, and Steelers. The NFL certainly has never turned down the chance to make more money and I don't see why they refuse to do so in this case.
For the first time in 35 years the NBA Finals will feature two franchises who have never reached the Finals before. So like I did for the Clippers after their historic playoff series win, here are the Top 10 individual seasons for both franchises according to the basketball version of Win Shares.
I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the best individual season for both franchises are from this past season. The Mavericks list is dominated by one player who may end up holding the 10 best seasons in franchise history by the time he's done and appears on his way to becoming one of the greatest players of all-time.
Dallas Mavericks Top 10 Individual Seasons
1. Dirk Nowitzki, '05-'06, 52 Win Shares
26.6 PTS, 9.0 REB, 2.8 AST, 0.7 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO
2. Dirk Nowitzki, '04-'05, 47 Win Shares
26.1 PTS, 9.7 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.2 STL, 1.5 BLK, 2.3 TO
3. Dirk Nowitzki, '02-'03, 45 Win Shares
25.1 PTS, 9.9 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.4 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO
4. Dirk Nowitzki, '00-'01, 43 Win Shares
21.8 PTS, 9.2 REB, 2.1 AST, 1.0 STL, 1.2 BLK, 1.9 TO
5. Dirk Nowitzki, '01-'02, 42 Win Shares
23.4 PTS, 9.9 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.1 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO
6. Dirk Nowitzki, '03-'04, 33 Win Shares
21.8 PTS, 8.7 REB, 2.7 AST, 1.2 STL, 1.4 BLK, 1.8 TO
7. Steve Nash, '02-'03, 32 Win Shares
17.7 PTS, 2.9 REB, 7.3 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.3 TO
8. Steve Nash, '01-02, 31 Win Shares
17.9 PTS, 3.1 REB, 7.7 AST, 0.6 STL, 0.0 BLK, 2.8 TO
9. Rolando Blackman, '83-'84, 30 Win Shares
22.4 PTS, 4.6 REB, 3.6 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.5 BLK, 2.1 TO
10, Derek Harper, '89-'90, 30 Win Shares
18.0 PTS, 3.0 REB, 7.4 AST, 2.3 STL, 0.3 BLK, 2.5 TO
Miami Heat Top 10 Individual Seasons
-Yes Udonis Haslem but no Glen Rice. I've said before I'm not sure how reliable this is.
1. Dwyane Wade, '05-'06, 41 Win Shares
27.2 PTS, 5.7 REB, 6.7 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.8 BLK, 3.6 TO
2. Tim Hardaway, '96-'97, 39 Win Shares
20.3 PTS, 3.4 REB, 8.6 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.8 TO
3. Alonzo Mourning, '99-'00, 38 Win Shares
21.7 PTS, 9.5 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.5 STL, 3.7 BLK, 2.7 TO
4. Tim Hardaway, '97-'98, 33 Win Shares
18.9 PTS, 3.7 REB, 8.3 AST, 1.7 STL, 0.2 BLK, 2.8 TO
5. Anthony Mason, '00-'01, 33 Win Shares
15.9 PTS, 9.5 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.3 BLK, 2.2 TO
6. Shaquille O'Neal, '04-'05, 32 Win Shares
22.9 PTS, 10.4 REB, 2.7 AST, 0.5 STL, 2.3 BLK, 2.8 TO
7. Dwyane Wade, '04-'05, 32 Win Shares
24.1 PTS, 5.2 REB, 6.8 AST, 1.6 STL, 1.1 BLK, 4.2 TO
8. Alonzo Mourning, '96-'97, 27 Win Shares
19.8 PTS, 9.9 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.8 STL, 2.9 BLK, 3.4 TO
9. Udonis Haslem, '04-05, 27 Win Shares
10.9 PTS, 9.1 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.5 BLK, 1.4 TO
10. Alonzo Mourning, '95-'96, 26 Win Shares
23.2 PTS, 10.4 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.0 STL, 2.7 BLK, 3.7 TO
Ugh, I had almost finished the entire entry and my dumbass clicks the back button by accident. Click forward, nothing there. So fuck it I'm not typing all that out again so here's the quick version of the Top 10 for each league and maybe I'll edit in some numbers later.
Pujols still has a huge lead although it could be gone if he misses the full six weeks like many think he will.
Edit: Okay I've put the numbers in now.
10. Jason Bay, Pirates
.305/.427/.614, 49 RC, .328 EQA, 30 VORP, 9 Win Shares
9. Carlos Beltran, Mets
.266/.389/.572, 42 RC, .309 EQA, 21.4 VORP, 12 Win Shares
8. Lance Berkman, Astros
.299/.380/.598, 45 RC, .310 EQA, 20.6 VORP, 12 Win Shares
7. David Wright, Mets
.327/.400/.559, 47 RC, .315 EQA, 25.5 VORP, 11 Win Shares
6. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.349/.437/.593, 51 RC, .338 EQA, 32.5 VORP, 10 Win Shares
5. Chase Utley, Phillies
.323/.389/.541, 43 RC, .300 EQA, 27.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares
4. Bobby Abreu, Phillies
.285/.454/.505, 48 RC, .317 EQA, 19.0 VORP, 14 Win Shares
3. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals
.310/.363/.628, 54 RC, .309 EQA, 25.8 VORP, 13 Win Shares
2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
217 ERA+, 5.00 K/BB, 1.08 WHIP, 40.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares
.308/.442/.751, 65 RC, .357 EQA, 38.8 VORP, 19 Win Shares
Basically can flip a coin between Thome and Hafner right now but gave Thome the nod for the edge in Win Shares.
10. Curtis Granderson, Tigers
.287/.388/.483, 43 RC, .295 EQA, 18.9 VORP, 12 Win Shares
9. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
.326/.379/.606, 44 RC, .314 EQA, 28.2 VORP, 10 Win Shares
8. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
.307/.366/.512, 47 RC, .298 EQA, 18.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares
7. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
.319/.434/.505, 44 RC, .322 EQA, 22.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares
6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox
.306/.405/.669, 42 RC, .333 EQA, 22.3 VORP, 10 Win Shares
5. Derek Jeter, Yankees
.344/.435/.495, 47 RC, .320 EQA, 30.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares
4. Alexis Rios, Blue Jays
.359/.397/.631, 47 RC, .324 EQA, 26.5 VORP, 11 Win Shares
3. Jason Giambi, Yankees
.277/.458/.620, 51 RC, .350 EQA, 27.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares
2. Travis Hafner, Indians
.308/.449/.631, 57 RC, .355 EQA, 33.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares
.296/.432/.656, 58 RC, .344 EQA, 30.2 VORP, 13 Win Shares
Joe Carter and Cory Snyder of the Clevleand Indians graced the cover of Sports Illustrated's 1987 Baseball Preview issue. It declared the Indians as the best team in the American League. The ’87 Indians would lose 101 games. How could this happen? No one is picking a team who was terrible the year before to win a pennant and indeed the year before the Indians were the surprise team of baseball. There have plenty of looks at the infamous ’87 Indians so I figured I’d look at the ’86 team that led to their label as preseason contenders the following season
Going into 1986 the Indians were coming off a 102 loss season but would put together their best team in 27 years, leading the Majors in runs scored. They were never serious contenders in the A.L. East to the Red Sox in ’86 as their highpoint was on July 23rd when they were 51-41, five games out of first place. After terrible month of August (12-19) they hovered around .500 but won 9 of their last 12 games to finish 84-78, their first winning season since 1979.
C: Andy Allanson (.225/.260/.280, -9.3 VORP, 0 Win Shares) – 101 games played, 0 Win Shares. Wow. Allanson was a rookie and brought absolutely nothing to the table. On top of those stomach turning offensive numbers he also committed 20 errors. Played with the Indians thru 1989 then bounced around to Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and California.
1B: Pat Tabler (.326/.368/.433, 28.7 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Tabler would have made an awesome middle infielder with his numbers but problem was he played first base. ’86 was his best year as he finished 4th in the A.L. in average but he had almost no power with a career .379 SLG. Traded to the Royals in 1988 for Bud Black, then traded to the Mets in 1990 (the fifth trade of his career), and finished his career with two years in Toronto.
2B: Tony Bernazard (.301/.362/.456, 48.2 VORP, 25 Win Shares) – The top A.L. second baseman in 1986 per Win Shares, this was also Bernazard’s career year (possible trend?). Traded midseason the following year to Oakland in what would be his last year in the Majors before a brief comeback with the Tigers in 1991.
3B: Brook Jacoby (.288/.350/.441, 30.0 VORP, 21 Win Shares) – Only 26, Jacoby appeared to be a rising star but would peak the following year with a 32 homerun season. Fell off a cliff performance wise after age 30, the Indians traded him to Oakland in 1991 and then return to Cleveland a forgettable final season in 1992.
SS: Julio Franco (.306/.338/.422, 41.9 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – Allegedly 27 years old at the time, Franco was one of my favorite non-A’s players as a kid because of his bizarre batting stance. He was awful defensive shortstop and was moved over to second base in 1988. After that year he was traded to the Rangers for Pete O’Brien, Oddibe McDowell, and Jerry Browne where he’d win the batting title in 1991. Signed with the White Sox for the 1994 season where had a terrific year but during the baseball strike decided to play over in Japan for the ’95 season. He returned to Cleveland in 1996, released late in 1997, signed with Milwaukee, and then went back to Japan in 1998. Played in Mexico in 1999 but did appear in one game for one at bat for the Devil Rays in September. Played the next two years in Mexico but the Braves purchased his contract late in 2001 and has since made a surprising return as solid, platoon player. This year joined the Mets at age 117.
LF: Mel Hall (.296/.346/.493, 29.4 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – Hall was the very definition of a platoon outfielder. In 1986 the left handed hitter had just 26 at bats against left handed pitchers. Basically a decent hitter against righties but completely useless against lefties. Traded to the Yankees before the 1989 season and I’ll just post his awesome bio on BaseballLibrary.com to talk about the rest of his career.
CF: Brett Butler (.278/.356/.375, 18.3 VORP, 20 Win Shares) – Very good leadoff hitter he was the master of the bunt single. Was a late bloomer as his prime was actually in his early-30’s. Signed with the Giants after 1987, played there for three years then became one of the most hated players by Giants fans when he signed with the Dodgers after 1990. Traded late in 1995 to the Mets and then came right back to the Dodgers, retiring after 1997.
RF: Joe Carter (.302/.335/.514, 49.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – Although later recognized more for his playing days with the Blue Jays, 1986 was actually Carter’s best year (trend!). Indians traded him to San Diego after 1989 for Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Chris James. Almost exactly a year later he would be traded in a blockbuster deal to Toronto with Roberto Alomar for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. Played for the Blue Jays for seven years and of course became a World Series hero in 1993. Split his final season in 1998 with Baltimore and San Francisco.
DH: Andre Thorton (.229/.333/.392, 7.0 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Thorton was washed up at this point after being an unsung, very good DH for several years. Played in only 36 games the following year hitting just .118, his final season.
UTL: Cory Snyder (.272/.299/.500, 19.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – I figured I’d throw Snyder in since he was on that infamous S.I. cover and it was partly the hype behind him that led to the Indians being overrated going into the following year. He hit 24 homeruns in only 103 games as a rookie but no one bothered to notice his .299 OBP and that he struck out 123 times with only 16 walks! Having 100+ more strikeouts than walks is hard to do and Snyder did it three more times in his career. Traded in 1991 to Toronto, then signed with San Francisco, and then played two years in Los Angeles.
Tom Candiotti (116 ERA+, 47.6 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – This was Candiotti’s first full year in the Majors and he was the Indians only good pitcher in 1986, leading the A.L. with 17 complete games. Traded to the Blue Jays in 1991 in a five player deal. Then signed with Dodgers who he played with for six years. Signed with the A’s after 1997 then released during the 1999 season but was picked up for a return to Cleveland. Signed with the Angels before the 2000 season but did not make the team.
Ken Schrom (91 ERA+, 12.4 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – The Indians offense helped the mediocre pitcher to 14-7 record and an All-Star selection. Posted a 6.50 ERA the following year which would be his last in the Majors.
Phil Niekro (96 ERA+, 7.3 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – I doubt we’ll ever see another rotation with two knuckleballers on it and besides everyone knows only Doug Mirabelli can catch them. Anyways Niekro was 47 at this point and was no longer effective. His final year come next season as the Indians traded him in August to Toronto who released him a few weeks later. Picked up for a purely sentimental final start with the Braves and retired after the season. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Closer: Ernie Camacho (102 ERA+, 9.9 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – A former 1st round pick of the A’s he had an injury filled, sporadic career and this was one of only two years that he threw more than 30 innings.
The draft is tommorrow so I've decided just to do a quick list of the top players of each draft from the 1980's per Win Shares with a couple of other things thrown in. Now when putting this together I was quickly skimming over the list of players who played in the Majors from each draft so it's entirely possible I might have missed a key player or two so feel free to point out any omissions. For each year I only take in account players who signed.
Top Pick Overall: Darryl Strawberry, 252 Win Shares, Mets
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Garry Harris, Blue Jays
Most Career Win Shares: Strawberry
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Craig Lefferts 91, 9th Round, Cubs
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Eric Davis 224, 8th Round, Reds
Top Pick Overall: Mike Moore, 133 Win Shares, Mariners
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #11 Mike Sodders, Twins
Most Career Win Shares: Tony Gwynn 398, 3rd Round, Padres
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: David Cone 205, 3rd Round, Royals
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Joe Carter 240, #2 Overall, Indians; Kevin McReynolds 202, #6 Overall, Padres; Paul O'Neill 259, 4th Round, Reds; Devon White 207, 6th Round, Angels; Fred McGriff 326, 9th Round, Yankees; Lenny Dykstra 201, 13th Round, Mets
Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Mark Langston 184, 2nd Round, Mariners; Frank Viola 187, 2nd Round, Twins; John Franco 183, 5th Round, Dodgers
Top Pick Overall: Shawon Dunston, 151 Win Shares, Cubs
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Augie Schmidt, Blue Jays
Most Career Win Shares: Jose Canseco 272, 15th Round, A's
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: David Wells 203, 2nd Round, Blue Jays
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Terry Pendleton 202, 7th Round, Cardinals
Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Dwight Gooden 187, #5 Overall, Mets; Jimmy Key 188, 3rd Round, Blue Jays; Bret Saberhagen 193, 19th Round, Royals; Kenny Rogers 185, 39th Round, Rangers
Top Pick Overall: Tim Belcher, 132 Win Shares, Twins (did not sign)
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Stan Hilton, A's
Most Career Win Shares: Roger Clemens 421, #19 Overall, Red Sox
Most Career Win Shares by a Player: Wally Joyner 253, 3rd Round, Angels
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Ron Gant 206, 4th Round, Braves
Top Pick Overall: Shawn Abner, 13 Win Shares, Mets
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #13 Bob Caffrey, Expos
Most Career Win Shares: Greg Maddux 371, 2nd Overall, Cubs
Most Career Win Shares by a Player: Mark McGwire 342, #10 Overall, A's
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Jay Bell 245, #8 Overall, Twins; Ken Caminiti 242, 3rd Round, Astros
Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Tom Glavine 290, 2nd Round, Braves; Jamie Moyer 184, 6th Round, Cubs
Top Pick Overall: B.J. Surhoff, 231 Win Shares, Brewers
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Kurt Brown, White Sox
Most Career Win Shares: Barry Bonds 661, #6 Overall, Pirates
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Randy Johnson 297, 2nd Round, Expos
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Will Clark 331, #2 Overall, Giants; Barry Larkin 347, #4 Overall, Reds; Rafael Palmeiro 394, #22 Overall, Cubs; David Justice 233, 4th Round, Braves; Mark Grace 294, 24th Round, Cubs
Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: John Smoltz 257, 22nd Round, Tigers
Top Pick Overall: Jeff King, 115 Win Shares, Pirates
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #14 Greg McMurty, Red Sox (did not sign)
Most Career Win Shares: Gary Sheffield 398, #6 Overall, Brewers
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Kevin Brown 241, #4 Overall, Rangers
Other Players Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Matt Williams 241, #3 Overall, Giants; Todd Zeile 221, 2nd Round, Cardinals
Top Pick Overall: Ken Griffey Jr., 358 Win Shares, Mariners
Highets Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Mark Merchant, Pirates
Most Career Win Shares: Craig Biggio 411, #22 Overall, Astros
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Kevin Appier 189, #9 Overall, Royals
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Albert Belle 243, 2nd Round, Indians; Ray Lankford 228, 3rd Round, Cardinals; Reggie Sanders 201, 7th Round, Reds; Steve Finley 286, 13th Round, Orioles
Top Pick Overall: Andy Benes, 139 Win Shares, Padres
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Bill Bene, Dodgers
Most Career Win Shares: Mike Piazza 309, 62nd Round, Dodgers
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Benes
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Robin Ventura 272, #10 Overall, White Sox; Tino Martinez 216, #14 Overall, Mariners; Marquis Grissom 248, 3rd Round, Expos; Luis Gonzalez 285, 4th Round, Astros; Jim Edmonds 263, 7th Round, Angels; Kenny Lofton 261, 17th Round, Astros
Top Pick Overall: Ben McDonald, 83 Win Shares, Orioles
Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #4 Jeff Jackson, Phillies
Most Career Win Shares: Jeff Bagwell 387, 4th Round, Red Sox
Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Trevor Hoffman 144, 11th Round, Reds
Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Frank Thomas 362, #7 Overall, White Sox; Mo Vaughn 201, #23 Overall, Red Sox; Chuck Knoblauch 231, #25 Overall, Twins; John Olerud 301, 3rd Round, Blue Jays; Tim Salmon 228, 3rd Round, Angels; Ryan Klesko 222, 5th Round, Braves; Jim Thome 279, 13th Round, Indians; Brian Giles 228, 17th Round, Indians; Jeff Kent 295, 20th Round, Blue Jays
Next up is 1984 and I selected this particular year as it features easily the worst #1 pick of the 1980's. The Mets had the #1 pick and they wanted to draft Mark McGwire but could not agree on a contract so they settled for this...
1. Mets - Shawn Abner, Outfield, High School
Abner never put on a real Mets uniform as he was traded to San Diego after the 1986 season in the Kevin Mitchell/Kevin McReynolds deal. .227/.269/.323 line in 392 ML games with only 13 career Win Shares.
2. Mariners - Bill Swift, Pitcher, Maine
Another player involved in a Kevin Mitchell deal, traded to the Giants in a five player deal after the 1991 season. It was in San Francisco where Swift broke out, winning the ERA title in 1992 and winning 21 games in 1993. That was his peak though as he had elbow, shoulder, and other various arm problems through out his career going back to his Seattle days.
3. Cubs - Drew Hall, Pitcher, Morehead State
Fewer than 200 IP in the Majors, primarily as a reliever.
4. Indians - Cory Snyder, Shortstop, BYU
Could hit for power but had zero plate discipline. In 1987 he stuck out 166 times with only 31 walks.
5. Reds - Pat Pacillo, Pitcher, Seton Hall
His 85 walks in 149 innings at Triple-A in 1986 was a bad sign. Only a little over 50 IP in the Majors.
6. Angels - Erik Pappas, Catcher, High School
Nice strikeout/walk numbers (53/48) but results weren't pretty when he put it in play in his very short career. But hey he was the MVP of the 2002 European Baseball Championships.
7. Cardinals - Mike Dunne, Pitcher, Bradley
I must have had thirty 1988 Topps Mike Dunne cards. Traded to the Pirates in the Andy Van Slyke/Tony Pena deal right before the 1987 season. On the surface had a very impressive rookie year (13-6, 3.03 ERA) but his poor K/BB ratio (72/68) spelled doom for any future success.
8. Twins - Jay Bell, Shortstop, High School
Yet another #1 pick traded before they reach the Majors. Traded to Cleveland in 1985 in a deal for Bert Blyleven. Good hitting shortstop who lasted 18 years.
9. Giants - Alan Cockrell, Outfield, Tennessee
Didn't make his ML debut until 1996 for a cup of coffee with the Rockies.
10. A's - Mark McGwire, First Base, USC
My favorite player of all-time. I want him in the Hall of Fame but under the current circumstances might never get in.
11. Padres - Shane Mack, Outfield, UCLA
Very good hitter but only played nine years filled with several nagging injuries.
12. Rangers - Oddibe McDowell, Outfield, Arizona State
One of the great first names in baseball history. Already a regular player by 1985 but beyond a decent second year, not much of a career.
13. Expos - Bob Caffrey, Catcher, Cal State Fullerton
An Olympian but never a Major Leaguer.
14. Red Sox - John Marzano, Catcher, Temple
Believe it or not actually played in 10 different ML seasons but only 301 games played in that span.
15. Pirates - Kevin Andersh, Pitcher, New Mexico
I searched his name on Google Groups and there was a total of one entry.
16. Royals - Scott Bankhead, Pitcher, North Carolina
One decent year in 1989 but otherwise an erratic career.
17. Astros - Don August, Pitcher, Chapman College
Traded for Danny Darwin late in 1986, had a decent rookie year but was a mess after that.
18. Brewers - Isaiah Clark, Shortstop, High School
Brother of mid-90's Padres scrub Phil Clark. That's all I got.
19. Braves - Drew Denson, First Base, High School
Only 41 career ML at bats.
20. White Sox - Tony Menendez, Pitcher, High School
Threw over 1000 innings in the minors, only 29 in the majors.
21. Phillies - Pete Smith, Pitcher, High School
Traded to Atlanta after the 1985 season in a deal for Steve Bedrosian, the Braves hot shotted him from Double-A in 1987 which probably doomed his career. Threw almost 200 innings at age 22 in 1988 and it's no shock he had arm problems after that.
22. Yankees - Jeff Pries, Pitcher, UCLA
The Yankees first, 1st Round pick since 1979 (kept giving them up for free agent signings) and never made it to the Majors.
23. Dodgers - Dennis Livingston, Pitcher Oklahoma State
One of several bad 1st round picks by the Dodgers in the 80's.
24. Giants - Terry Mulholland, Pitcher, Marietta College
Hasn't been effective in about seven years but he's left handed so he's still getting a Major League salary at 103 years old.
25. Orioles - John Hoover, Pitcher, Fresno State
Pitched just two games in the Majors.
26. White Sox - Tom Hartley, Outfield, High School
Never made it.
Other Picks of Note
1st Round (Compensatory) Expos - Norm Charlton
2nd Round Braves - Tom Glavine
2nd Round Yankees - Al Leiter
2nd Round Cubs - Greg Maddux
3rd Round Astros - Ken Caminiti
6th Round Cardinals - Lance Johnson
6th Round Cubs - Jamie Moyer
12th Ruond Mets - John Wetteland (did not sign)
13th Round Expos - Jeff Brantley (did not sign)
14th Round Brewers - John Jaha
15th Round Angels - Chuck Finley
17th Round Angels - Dante Bichette
20th Round Red Sox - Jack McDowell (did not sign)
ESPN is already doing the "Chasing Bonds" treatment for Albert Pujols but it really should be "Chasing Wagner." According to HardballTimes.com Pujols is on pace to tie Honus Wagner's single season record of 59 Win Shares set back in 1908. I am outraged the media is ignoring this potential historic event. Come on the homerun record has been broken twice in the last eight years, the Win Shares record hasn't been broken in 98 years! Don't you remember as a kid always wondering if someone would reach that magical #59?
Anyways no shock at all who's #1 in the N.L. still and I might as well give the entire Top 10 to Pujols. Not much else of note, two drop out and one of the "Most Overrated Players in Baseball" cracks to the Top 10.
Drop Outs: Carlos Delgado, Carlos Lee
#10 Bobby Abreu, Phillies
.276/.447/.503, 36 RC, .316 EQA, 13.8 VORP, 10 Win Shares
#9 Chase Utley, Phillies
.328/.406/.554, 35 RC, .298 EQA, 18.9 VORP, 10 Win Shares
#8 Bronson Arroyo, Reds
195 ERA+, 3.79 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 26.7 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#7 Carlos Beltran, Mets
.259/.382/.600, 32 RC, .324 EQA, 20.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#6 Morgan Ensberg, Astros
.272/.403/.627, 36 RC, .322 EQA, 20.8 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#5 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.335/.432/.599, 41 RC, .338 EQA, 25.4 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#4 Tom Glavine Mets
167 ERA+, 2.32 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 23.0 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#3 Lance Berkman, Astros
.296/.375/.605, 40 RC, .307 EQA, 17.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares
#2 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
191 ERA+, 6.00 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 28.1 VORP, 9 Win Shares
.323/.450/.804, 58 RC, .365 EQA, 37.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares
On the A.L. side there's a lot of change with five players dropping out from last week with a couple of familiar faces jumping in including Baseball Jesus himself. But the #1 spot stays the same and even though Thome isn't blowing away the rest of the league like Pujols he definently has a comfortable edge right now. Of course a name you will not see anywhere on this list is the WORST PLAYER EVER, MR. UNCLUTCH A-FRAUD!!!!! God damn how is he not playing in Single-A now? How do the Yankees win any games with him dragging down the club?
Drop Outs: Jonny Gomes, Vernon Wells, Alexis Rios, Nick Swisher, Ramon Hernandez
#10 Jose Lopez, Mariners
.292/.322/.497, 40 RC, .284 EQA, 15.8 VORP, 10 Win Shares
#9 Jose Contreras, White Sox
250 ERA+, 2.73 K/BB, 0.87 WHIP, 25.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#8 Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
.319/.432/.503, 36 RC, .318 EQA, 15.7 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#7 Miguel Tejada, Orioles
.333/.391/.587, 35 RC, .325 EQA, 27.6 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#6 Jason Giambi, Yankees
.260/.464/.583, 40 RC, .348 EQA, 19.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#5 Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
.314/.441/.577, 36 RC, .337 EQA, 20.5 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#4 Derek Jeter, Yankees
.348/.433/.519, 41 RC, .325 EQA, 27.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#3 Travis Hafner, Indians
.311/.443/.627, 46 RC, .353 EQA, 26.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares
#2 Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays
199 ERA+, 3.19 K/BB, 1.28 WHIP, 26.2 VORP, 11 Win Shares
.304/.440/.684, 51 RC, .351 EQA, 28.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares
MLB Draft is a couple of weeks away so might as well do some Draftbacks, plus I'm having to wait to do 2006 MVP Watch #2 as Hardball Times doesn't have update Win Shares yet. I picked the 1990 draft because it is an infamous draft for the Oakland A's. They had 4 of the first 36 picks and took four pitchers who would were dubbed the "Four Aces." Those four pitchers were Todd Van Poppel, Don Peters, Dave Zancanaro, and Kirk Dressendorfer. Um ya, they didn't quite live up the hype.
1. Braves - Chipper Jones, Shorstop, High School
Braves certainly can't complain about how this worked out. Has put up a .303/.401/.538 line thru 2005 and won an MVP in 1999. If he can manage to put up a few more good years he may have a case for the Hall of Fame.
2. Tigers - Tony Clark, Outfield, High School
Of course converted to first base has to put together an okay career that peaked early from the ages of 25 to 27. Seemed finished a couple of years ago until having a great year out of no where last season.
3. Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, Catcher, High School
Decent career and any franchise has to be happy if they get over 12 years in the Majors out of a catching prospect.
4. White Sox - Alex Fernandez, Pitcher, High School
Pretty good pitcher who's career was cut short by shoulder problems.
5. Pirates - Kurt Miller, Pitcher, High School
Our first bust and it's baseball so there will be plenty more. Was never effective above Double-A but still some how made it to the Majors as a member of the Marlins. 7.48 ERA in 80 2/3 innings in the Majors.
6. Mariners - Marc Newfield, First Base, High School
Outside of a decent 1996 season was never a factor in the Majors. Twice traded with Ron Villone.
7. Reds - Dan Wilson, Catcher, Minnesota
Another decent career out of a catcher here although it came with the Mariners as the Reds traded him after the 1993 season with Bobby Ayala for Bret Boone and Erik Hanson.
8. Indians - Tim Costo, Shortstop, Iowa
Traded to the Reds in 1991, only played 43 games in the Majors.
9. Dodgers - Ron Walden, Pitcher, High School
First player on the board who never made it to the Majors.
10. Yankees - Carl Everett, Outfield, High School
Put together a pretty good career filled temper tantrums and disbelief of dinosaurs. Never played for the Yankees as the Marlins picked him up in the '92 expansion draft.
11. Expos - Darrell Andrews, Shortstop/Pitcher, High School
Could go both ways apparantly but not to the Majors.
12. Twins - Todd Ritchie, Pitcher, High School
Oddly enough his best year in professional baseball came in the Majors with the Pirates in 1999 when he went 15-9 with a 3.49 ERA. Lousy at pretty much any other point.
13. Cardinals - Donovan Osborne, Pitcher, UNLV
Moderatley effective pitcher early in his career but injuries pretty much shut him down by age 28 although has made a couple of comebacks including with the Yankees last season.
14. A's - Todd Van Poppel, Pitcher, High School
Ahhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooooooooooo. Would have gone much higher in the draft but teams were worried he'd enroll at Texas but ended up signing with the A's which ended up being the wrong choice for both parties.
15. Giants - Adam Hyzdu, Outfield, High School
254 career homeruns in the minors, 14 in the majors.
16. Rangers - Daniel Smith, Pitcher, Creighton
Just 29 innings pitched in the Majors.
17. Mets - Jeromy Burnitz, Outfield, Oklahoma State
I suppose he's a journeyman power hitter? Over 300 career homeruns with seven teams.
18. Cardinals - Aaron Holbert, Shortstop, High School
Career minor leaguer who had only three at bats in the Majors until last season when he appeared in 22 games for the Reds.
19. Giants - Eric Christopherson, Catcher, San Diego State
Probably wished they drafted the next guy.
20. Orioles - Mike Mussina, Pitcher, Stanford
Very consistent, good pitcher through most of his career and some would argue he may have a case for the Hall of Fame, although I wouldn't be one of them.
21. Astros - Tom Nevers, Shortstop, High School
Whole career spent in the minors, mostly at Double-A.
22. Blue Jays - Steve Karsay, Pitcher, High School
Once traded for Rickey Henderson, injuries prevented from ever making it as a starter but resurrected his career in 1998 as a reliever after the A's traded him to the Indians for Mike Fetters. D'oh.
23. Cubs - Lance Dickson, Pitcher, Arizona
Debuted just two months after he was drafted making three starts and then never returned to the Majors.
24. Expos - Rondell White, Outfield, High School
Never lived up to the hype but has put together a pretty good career.
25. Padres - Robbie Beckett, Pitcher, High School
6.09 career ERA in the minors yet he still got a couple of cups of coffee with the Rockies.
26. A's - Don Peters, Pitcher, St. Francis
Not even close. FOUR ACES!
Other Picks of Note
2nd Round, White Sox - Bob Wickman
4th Round, Angels - Garret Anderson
5th Round, Mariners - Bret Boone
6th Round, Mariners - Mike Hampton
6th Round, Angels - Troy Percival
7th Round, Indians - David Bell
9th Round, Mets - Fernando Vina
10th Round, Rangers - Rusty Greer
11th Round, Mets - Darren Dreifort (did not sign)
21st Round, Twins - Eddie Guardado
22nd Round, Yankees - Andy Pettitte
24th Round, Yankees - Jorge Posada
There's a new Sports Illustrated poll of 470 Major League players asking who are the most overrated and most underrated players in baseball. Stuff like this is incredibly subjective as someone may consider one player underrated while the other considers that same player overrated. My assumption is that the player's perspective would be how they feel the media and fans view the player and that will influence their opinion on whether or not they consider someone overrated or underrated. So here's the Top 10 for both lists with my comments on what I think of each player and I throw in a name at the end of who I considered the most overrated and most underrated players of last season.
1. Derek Jeter - Too obvious but facts are he is overrated by New York media/fans and major media outlets like ESPN. I have said in the past though that I feel Jeter is almost slightly underrated by non-Yankee fans at this point. You can tell Jeter is overrated just by how the New York media and ESPN are all up in arms (well from what people are saying on the board) over him topping the list as some how it is inexcusible that Baseball Jesus is on the list at all.
2. Carlos Beltran - This seems a bit odd to me, I suppose probably because of the contract he signed and he had a bit of an off year last season. Coming into this season though I'd consider him underrated by how much criticism he was getting.
3. Alex Rodriguez - Truly laughable for him to be this high. One of the true elite players in the game yet he typically doesn't get the credit he deserves and any failure he has in the "clutch" his magnified ten fold. Sure no player deserves the contract he got but not his fault the Rangers were stupid enough to give it to him.
4. J.D. Drew - Again no reason for him to be on the list and he is almost certainly underrated. He's a great hitter but is always hurt and many discard anything good he has done due to his injury problems. He showed in 2004 the type of numbers he can put up in a full season.
5. Nomar Garciaparra - How can he be underrated when he's be the subject of ridicule due to his injury problems? What because he was once great and now isn't that makes him overrated? Really makes no sense.
6. A.J. Burnett - Have to agree on this one but he's a "victim" of starting pitchers being overrated in general.
7. Jason Kendall - A common theme seems to be obscene contracts and Kendall certainly isn't worth what he makes. I doubt many still view Kendall as a good player anymore so my guess is the general view of him currently is probably neither overrated or underrated. Trust me though A's fans know he sucks.
8. Kerry Wood - Man players are just cruel as at least according this poll any player with a history of injuries is overrated.
9. Josh Beckett - Interesting. Maybe a tad overrated because of the 2003 postseason which tends to happen to any player who has a strong postseason.
10. Johnny Damon - I'd agree to a certain extent though his last two years he really was good but this also comes from the contract he signed. Probably more overrated circa 2003 than he is now.
My 2005 Most Overrated Player: Scott Podsednik - Remember he tought the White Sox how to bunt so they won the World Series. We don't need those meaningless homeruns!
1. Michael Young - See now this is a player who I could see being overrated a couple of years from now. Players who everyone says is underrated eventually go the other way.
2. Bobby Abreu - Certainly not nearly as underrated as he was two or three years ago. I'd say he's probably fits into neither category.
3. Garret Anderson - Now this what I was talking in term of Young as personally I view Garret Anderson as overrated now. A few years back I considered him underrated. He gets on base at a poor rate and he has below average power for a corner outfielder.
4. Mark Loretta - Probably true to a certain extent. His great 2004 season went largely unnoticed. He's on the Red Sox now so he'll probably be overrated by the end of the year.
5. David Eckstein - Okay very good 2005 season no doubt by the "scrappy" Eckstein is probably a bit overrated because he's "scrappy."
6. Bill Mueller - I'd say he doesn't fit either category.
7. Chone Figgins - I'd say neither tilting towards slightly overrated.
8. Vernon Wells - You know he really hasn't done a whole lot at the plate the last two seasons, although off to a great start this year. He does get his just due when it comes to his defense.
9. Raul Ibanez - What? He's had a couple of good years by far from a star. I don't know do most view him as a scrub or something? Very odd he's on the list.
10. Melvin Mora - I'd agree with this one although his numbers were down last year, still were pretty good and his name doesn't really come up often when talking about the better 3rd basemen in the league.
My 2005 Most Underrated Player: Brian Giles - I ranked him as the best right fielder in baseball last season but because he plays in a park that is death to hitters his counting numbers just didn't look impressive.
One way to measure a player's value can be their ability to stay healthy. Obviously if a player can give at least average production for their position and stay in the line-up everyday their value might be higher than their statistics may indicate especially if their team lacks a suitable replacement. This can come up when considering someone for MVP. Some seasons there maybe a player who's peripheral numbers were superior to other candidates but they missed 30-40 games due to injury thus their value for that season decreased and the other candidates may have been more valuable simply because they stayed healthy all season.
That brings me to the 1980 A.L. MVP which was won by George Brett and he won it rather easily. Of course what is most remembered about Brett's 1980 season is that he had a .390 batting average, the closest a player had come to hitting .400 since Ted Williams had a pulled off the feat 39 years earlier. What many people don't remember is that Brett only played in 117 games that year due to injuries. In fact he barely qualified for the batting title as a player needed 502 plate appearances to qualify and Brett finished with 515. Now Brett didn't simply just have a high batting average, he also had a .454 OBP and a .664 SLG, both tops in the league. Although I typically discard RBI's his total was worth mentioning as he had 118 RBI in those 117 games. Even with his phenomenal numbers could he possibly be the run away MVP winner while missing 45 games?
The other candidates who received a lot of support were led by Reggie Jackson. At age 34 he had one of the best years of his career hitting .300 with 41 homeruns and playing on a Yankees team that won 103 games but he was a distant second to Brett. His teammate Goose Gossage finished 3rd and closers don't deserve the MVP, blah blah blah. Willie Wilson, Cecil Cooper, and Eddie Murray were the only other players to receive over 100 voting points. One very odd first place vote went to Yankees catcher Rick Cerone and just a hunch he was probably the heart of the team or some crap like that. Anyways he had a good year, especially for him, but no where near an MVP calibar season.
1) George Brett 2) Reggie Jackson 3) Goose Gossage 4) Willie Wilson 5) Cecil Cooper 6) Eddie Murray 7) Rick Cerone 8) Dan Quisenberry 9) Steve Stone 10) Rickey Henderson 11) Al Oliver 12) Tony Armas 13t) Al Bumbry 13t) Ben Ogilvie 15t) Mike Norris 15t) Willie Randolph 17) Robin Young 18t) Buddy Bell 18t) Mickey Rivers 20) Alan Trammell 21) Ken Singleton 22t) Miguel Dilone 22t) Tony Perez 24t) Fred Lynn 24t) John Wathan
148 ERA+, 2.17 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 84.1 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.326/.357/.421, 105 RC, 112 OPS+, .290 EQA, 49.4 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.304/.397/.485, 113 RC, 142 OPS+, .313 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.304/.362/.562, 121 RC, 153 OPS+, .313 EQA, 52.9 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.352/.387/.539, 131 RC, 155 OPS+, .321 EQA, 71.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.318/.392/.433, 109 RC, 128 OPS+, .303 EQA, 58.4 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.294/.427/.407, 89 RC, 133 OPS+, .316 EQA, 63.8 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.303/.420/.399, 99 RC, 134 OPS+, .315 EQA, 54.0 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.300/.398/.597, 122 RC, 172 OPS+, .335 EQA, 64.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.390/.454/.664, 137 RC, 202 OPS+, .368 EQA, 92.7 VORP, 36 Win Shares
See I don't always just do redos to point out horrible choices by the writers. Okay the royally screwed Mike Norris out of the Cy Young but that's another redo.
Amazingly as it seems even though he only played 117 games Brett was the deserving choice and there's simply no one else to consider. As you can see it wasn't like there was a weak group of candidates but Brett out classed them all with one of the most incredible seasons of all-time.
It's Christmas time for stat geeks as Hardball Times has released the first Win Shares of the 2006 season and thus I can now I start tracking the MVP candidates for the season. Of coursing being that we are just a little over six weeks into the season this can all be taken with a grain of salt but hey I need excuses for entries. So every Tuesday now I'll have an updated Top 10 list for each league.
I'll start with the National League as let's face it, the race is alredy over. Barring injury everyone is running for second place behind Albert Pujols this season. He just completely blows away the field and didn't give a thought to anyone else at the top spot. What you will notice is the high placement of a couple of pitchers which didn't surprise me as with the small sample of games the more impact an individual starting pitcher can have. Those two pitchers are the least likely candidates to still be in the Top 10 come September.
#10 Chase Utley, Phillies
.302/.372/.547, 25 RC, .277 EQA, 14.8 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#9 Bobby Abreu, Phillies
.257/.437/.459, 27 RC, .288 EQA, 7.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#8 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
167 ERA+, 5.71 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 22.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#7 Morgan Ensberg, Astros
.281/.401/.619, 30 RC, .291 EQA, 15.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#6 Carlos Delgado, Mets
.298/.394/.610, 34 RC, .291 EQA, 15.9 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#5 Carlos Lee, Brewers
.296/.392/.655, 34 RC, .296 EQA, 20.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#4 Bronson Arroyo, Reds
221 ERA+, 3.58 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 23.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#3 Lance Berkman, Astros
.319/.384/.652, 37 RC, .293 EQA, 18.0 VORP, 10 Win Shares
#2 Tom Glavine, Mets
189 ERA+, 2.64 K/BB, 1.03 WHIP, 20.2 VORP, 8 Win Shares
.333/.469/.833, 49 RC, .327 EQA, 33.1 VORP, 14 Win Shares
Now for the American League which could be a wide open race all year. As of right now DH's (or DH types) are dominating the field with the likes of Giambi, Thome, Hafner, and Gomes. Ramon Hernandez, Alexis Rios, and Jose Contreras all won't be there at the end and Contreras' stock will drop dramtically pretty soon with him on the DL. The two big candidates from last year, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, are both off to relatively slow starts but figure both will make a push at some point.
#10 Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
.315/.385/.488, 29 RC, .280 EQA, 11.0 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#9 Nick Swisher, A's
.305/.405/.664, 28 RC, .294 EQA, 18.4 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#8 Alexis Rios, Blue Jays
.367/.386/.692, 30 RC, .294 EQA, 17.2 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#7 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
.358/.407/.642, 33 RC, .294 EQA, 24.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#6 Travis Hafner, Indians
.314/.430/.628, 37 RC, .303 EQA, 21.6 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#5 Miguel Tejada, Orioles
.361/.402/.613, 30 RC, .295 EQA, 25.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares
#4 Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays
.288/.421/.648, 32 RC, .295 EQA, 18.7 VORP, 10 Win Shares
#3 Jason Giambi, Yankees
.269/.480/.654, 38 RC, .311 EQA, 19.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares
#2 Jose Contreras, White Sox
335 ERA+, 1.91 K/BB, 0.87 WHIP, 24.3 VORP, 8 Win Shares
.290/.438/.694, 43 RC, .304 EQA, 23.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares
I'm personally not sold that Thome will keep this up all year but you never know.
After starting to run thin on good subjects to redo MVP's for the next natural progression would be to move on to Cy Youngs. Now Culloden/Vern suggested 1969 & 1983 A.L. Cy Young's to me and then I decided I'd throw the 1982 A.L. Cy Young in there. But as I started doing them I realized that there was a common theme with the '82 and '83 redos and that was the underrated greatness of Dave Stieb. So I've expanded I decied to do four redos in one, examining the period from 1982 to 1985 when Steib was the most consistent and best overall pitcher in the game.
The 1982 A.L. Cy Young is as good a place as any to start when it comes to Cy Young redos as it featured quite possibly the worst pitcher ever to win a Cy Young in the Brewers' Pete Vukovich. In '82 Vukovich benefitted from two things, playing in a pitcher's park and being supported by the far the best offense in the league. He finished the season with an 18-6 record and an unimpressive 3.34 ERA, the highest among all pitcher's who received votes. He was lucky to have such an ERA beyond playing a pitcher's park he had an atrocious K/BB ratio as he only struck out three more batters than he walked (105 to 102). He also posted an awful 1.50 WHIP, which I didn't bother to check but I'd be very surprised if any Cy Young award winner had one worse than that. But there was no 20 game winner in the A.L. and only one pitcher, Rick Sutcliffe, posted an ERA under 3 so with no standout pitcher the writer's made this incredibly bad choice.
Now the writers were fairly split on the voting as four other pitchers received first place votes but Vukovich received 14 total. Stieb received five first place votes but only finished in 4th place as the poor hitting Blue Jays only helped him to a 17-14 record. In fact it's kinda surprising he received that much support as writers usually can't look past the win/loss record. This would be a good time to point out that I give zero consideration to win/loss record as a pitcher's single season win/loss record is much too deceiving.
1) Pete Vukovich 2) Jim Palmer 3) Dan Quisenberry 4) Dave Stieb 5) Rick Sutcliffe 6) Geoff Zahn 7t) Bill Caudill 7t) Bob Stanley 9) Dan Petry
129 ERA+, 1.63 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 53.9 VORP, 20 Win Shares
159 ERA+, 3.83 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 38.6 VORP, 22 Win Shares
138 ERA+, 1.88 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP, 65.0 VORP, 25 Win Shares
Now Stieb's numbers don't blow you away in '82 but in a weak year for candidates he was the best choice. I'm kind of surprised the writers didn't give Palmer a lifetime achievement Cy Young here but he only had 15 wins. Would have at least been a better choice than Vukovich. As you see with Quisenberry, unlike with the MVP I do believe closers can be viable candidates to win a Cy Young in certain years.
This year features another not so glamerous Cy Young pick in the White Sox LaMarr Hoyt. Better known for his cocaine problems now, Hoyt holds the distinction of having the highest ERA ever for a Cy Young winner at 3.66. Now in fairness to Hoyt is peripheral numbers weren't bad, unlike with Vukovich, but he was definently a pitcher who won simply because of his win total as he won 24 games largely due to having the top offense in the league supporting him. Again though it was another year with a lot of strong candidates.
Hoyt's main competition was Dan Quisenberry who received nine first place votes as he had then single season record of 45 saves with a 1.94 ERA. He was though just as dominant as those numbers indicate and did it 139 innings pitched. Steib actually had a better record (17-12) and ERA (3.04) than the previous year but this time around he didn't receive a single vote which I'd attribute to having four 20 game winners instead of zero the previous year.
1) LaMarr Hoyt 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Jack Morris 4) Richard Dotson 5) Ron Guidry 6) Scott McGregor
117 ERA+, 2.80 K/BB, 1.16 WHIP, 61.4 VORP, 20 Win Shares
142 ERA+, 2.01 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 68.9 VORP, 24 Win Shares
210 ERA+, 4.36 K/BB, 0.93 WHIP, 48.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares
Quis was never Mr. Photogenic.
Even though he had a better season than '82, I couldn't pass on the dominance of Quisenberry this time around.
Only going over this one briefly as I already kind of touched on it in the 1984 A.L. MVP Redo and if you remember I already gave the answer away to this one.
Willie Hernandez won the award in a tight vote over Quisenberry. Would have been quite interesting if Herandez won the MVP but didn't win the Cy Young. Bert Blyleven and Mike Boddicker also received solid support. Steib went 16-8 with a 2.83 ERA but garnered only one 3rd place vote.
1) Willie Hernandez 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Bert Blyleven 4) Mike Boddicker 5) Dan Petry 6) Frank Viola 7t) Jack Morris 7t) Dave Stieb
132 ERA+, 2.36 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 60.6 VORP, 23 Win Shares
204 ERA+, 3.11 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP, 52.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares
145 ERA+, 2.25 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 75.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares
This was Steib's best year and the year he most deserved to win the award yet he receives almost no support. 3rd place was tough as I gave considertion to Quisenberry, Boddicker, and Blyleven.
Out of these four years this one was certainly the least controversial and in fact I don't think it's ever been disputed. Bret Saberhagen, in just in second season, went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA with a near sweep of the first place votes. I wouldn't have even given this one a look if it weren't to see if possible that Steib a 3rd Cy Young redo.
Ron Guidry was only the other pitcher to receive any real support as he won 22 games. Steib had to be the hard luck pitcher of all-time with this season as he won the ERA title with a 2.48 ERA and played on a team that won 99 games with a good offense. Despite that he finsihed with only a 14-13 record so to no surprise he received little support. One interesting vote was Bert Blyleven receiving a first place vote with a 17-16 record which is shocking but kudos to one writer in 1985 thinking outside the box even though it wasn't the right choice.
1) Bret Saberhagen 2) Ron Guidry 3t) Bert Blyleven 3t) Dan Quisenberry 5) Charlie Liebrandt 6) Doyle Alexander 7t) Britt Burns 7t) Donnie Moore 7t) Dave Stieb 10) Mike Moore
135 ERA+, 2.75 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP, 64.9 VORP, 23 Win Shares
171 ERA+, 1.74 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 78.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares
145 ERA+, 4.16 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 68.2 VORP, 24 Win Shares
It was close but I give Saberhagen the nod here. Hey baseball writers congrats on being right 25% of the time!
So there you have it for a four year period Stieb was the 1st or 2nd best pitcher in the league and it's a crime that he didn't come away with at least one Cy Young. Injuries shortened his career and possible bid for the Hall of Fame although even then due his bad luck his low win total would kept him out. People who try to argue Jack Morris for the Hall always try to proclaim him as the 80's Pitcher of the Decade but that honor belongs to Stieb.